Panning for gold in Boston Bar

Annual Fraser River Gold Panning Championships kicks off today

The annual Fraser River Gold Panning Championships returns to Boston Bar this weekend.

Participants will compete in several different events to see who can recover a predetermined amount of gold flakes from a bucket of pay dirt the fastest. The event attracts about 150 panners every year from as far away as Europe.

“The competition draw is ‘Gold Fever’ and they will all catch it,” said event organizer Dan Moore, who is better known as Yukon Dan.

“In the hey day 25,000 miners searched for gold in these parts.”

The event kicks off on Thursday with two days of workshops and demonstrations in Yale. Free gold panning will be held Thursday and Friday from 1-4 p.m. There will also be free metal detecting for children and teens on Friday night.

Competition gets underway on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., with the top third in each category moving into the Sunday finals. All beginners will get a professional panner as a coach and every child that enters the competition receives a new gold pan and bag of pay dirt.

Over $5,000 in prizes are up for grabs this year, including chainsaw carvings of miners panning for gold. Moore will also put $2,000 worth of gold into two piles of dirt at the end of the competition and panners will get to keep what they find.

The Fraser River Gold Panning Championships is held at Anderson Creek Campground, located about one hour north of Hope on Highway 1. Entry for children and teens is $5, and $10 for adults and professionals. Children seven and under are free.

For more information, contact Moore at 604-948-4941 or gold@yukondan.com.