More than 100 gold panning enthusiasts will be heading to Boston Bar next weekend for the annual Fraser River Gold Panning Championships.
The event continues to grow every year, with panners travelling from around the country and as far away as the Netherlands to participate. Event organizer Dan Moore, who is better known as Yukon Dan, attributes the increased interest in panning to the spike in gold prices and reality television series.
“It’s family fun and family-orientated,” he said. “Everybody has a great time and everybody goes home with gold.”
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. Categories include children, mini-miner, teens, adults, three-person fun team, blindfold, hand and hand, and a grudge match. A new open panning event has also been added this year, which allows panners to use any style of gold pan.
The Fraser River Gold Panning Championships kicks off with two days of workshops and demonstrations in Yale. Free gold panning will be held Aug. 22 and Aug. 23 from 1-4 p.m. on the Fraser River. There will also be free metal detecting for children and teens on the Friday night.
The competition gets underway on Aug. 24 at 9:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies. The top third in each category move on to 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.
Numerous prizes will be up for grabs, including chainsaw carvings of gold miners and pieces of amethyst from Brazil with mining scenes depicted on them. Every competitor will also leave with a gold nugget. Moore said he’s giving away more than $3,000 in gold at the competition.
The Fraser River Gold Panning Championships will be held Aug. 24-25 at Anderson Creek Campground, located about one hour north of Hope on Highway 1. This year’s gold event sponsors are the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia, NewGold, Placer Gold Design, and Yukon Dan Gold Panning in the Classroom.
For more information, contact Moore at 604-948-4941 or gold @yukondan.com.