The Lytton River Festival runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 and features more than 30 acts and activities. Here, Shirley James, a respected River Festival advocate, enjoys a street performance by the AcroFire group. This year’s festival pays tribute to Shirley James, who passed away in the past year. (Submitted photo)

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

Cutting-edge comedy, chicken-poop bingo, street dancing and plenty more is coming to Lytton this summer.

The Lytton River Festival — running from Friday, Aug. 30 to Sunday, Sept. 1 — is a celebration of the people and cultures of British Columbia’s Thompson and Fraser Rivers.

And this year’s festival will feature one of Canada’s funniest comedians, in addition to about 30 acts and events during its three-day street run. Don Burnstick, a member of the Alexander First Nation reserve located near Edmonton, has a sharp sense of humour, honed by living on the streets of Edmonton before becoming sober and moving into comedy.

“What I do is, I basically hold the mirror up on stage about our lives, all the funny things we have endured in our lives,” Burnstick said in a recent interview with the CBC. “I talk about those things.”

“We have a strong mix of all Lytton cultures represented at the festival,” says festival secretary and event coordinator Nonie McCann. The Lytton First Nation is a partner in the event.

“From the Shmameet Youth Drum Circle opening the festival each day, to Lil’wat Indigenous musicians, to street dancing with mainstream bands and even chicken poop bingo, we have something for everyone at the festival and everyone is welcome,” McCann says.

There are multiple First Nations events throughout the weekend, including youth hand-drumming, First Nations artists’ displays and workshops, performances by the Spiritual Warriors, an interactive drum workshop with Soaring Spirit, Ritchie and the Fendermen, and more.

Festival-goers can even try making traditional crafts under the instruction of local First Nations Knowledge Keepers.

For children there is face painting, help making dream catchers, beading, painting, storytelling, rock-wall climbing, the bouncy slide, Mr. Bubbles the Clown and other activities.

One of Saturday’s highlights is the opportunity to ‘Dunk a Cop’ in the dunk tank, and help raise funds for a local animal rescue fund.

Festival organizers want people to know that this year’s event pays tribute to one of their longtime supporters who passed away over the last year.

“Shirley James was always a strong advocate for the River Festival,” they say in a press release. “Her joy and enthusiasm radiated through her smile and laughter. For many years Shirley contributed to our Sunday mini powwow. She was always happy, cheerful and ready to assist during the events in whatever way she was needed. Shirley loved River Festival and looked forward to seeing her many friends. She loved the evening music and dancing to the bands. We will surely miss this gentle and kind spirit and hope she looks down on this year’s celebration with happiness.”

Local rafting companies are also offering whitewater rafting trips on the Thompson River.

Other activities include multiple musicians and street dances Friday and Saturday evening, featuring multiple bands and performers. There will be many children’s activities, including a ‘learn-to-kayak’ session in the Lytton pool, as well as the Two Rivers Farmers’ Market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The days are filled with street performers, a dog show and Pooch Parade, dinners, street food, pancake breakfasts and a community potluck on Sunday evening.

The weekend is also a good time to check out the Lytton Museum and Lytton Chinese History Museum.

Head to for complete times and details.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

Missing Chilliwack woman has not been in contact with family for several months

The RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Chantelle Chenier of Chilliwack

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

Most Read