• Brown dried trees and vegetation line one side of the Elk River bank and tall conifer pines trees are clustered on the other side with the backdrop of the snow capped Rocky Mountains far in the distance. The Elk River in Fernie, BC on a winter day with brown and dried vegetation, barren trees and sturdy pine trees at the river's banks and snowy Rocky Mountains in the distance.

Image by pixel2013

After the long, hot days of summer, the crispness of fall is a welcome change. Why not celebrate the changing of the seasons with a lively family festival? This is just what happens each year in Fernie with the Chautauqua Cultural Festival & Fall Fair. This year the event runs from September 13 to 16.

Hosted by The Fernie Museum, The Fernie Arts Station, City of Fernie, Fernie Heritage Library, and Fernie Senior Centre and Wildsight, the festival was created to celebrate the art, music, heritage, and cuisine of the area.

The celebration kicks off on Thursday at the Fernie Family Centre with a Chinese Cultural Dinner. Attendees will be welcomed with some Chinese drumming. The evening features a performance by Calgary Chinese Music Development Association. Food for the event will be catered by Arrowana Restaurant.

On Friday at noon, you can take in Lunch & Literature at the Fernie Heritage Library. Acclaimed BC writer, Wayne Norton will discuss his book, Fernie At War. The Fernie Seniors Centre is catering this event. From 6 pm to 10 pm the Main Stage on 5th St. will feature Ndidi Onokwulu, Red Eyed Soul, and Flatback. A cash bar and food trucks will be on hand to keep the crowd going.

Saturday starts with a pancake breakfast at The Fernie Museum from 9am-11am. From there you can take part in all kinds of Chautauqua activities. Heritage walks, live entertainment, a children’s tent, antique car show, and art and heritage displays will all be happening in the downtown area. At 7:30 pm you may opt to take part in the Prohibition Bar Tour & Speakeasy. Participants will visit three secret locations to enjoy drinks and entertainment.

Sunday wraps up the weekend with a Fall Fair full of action. Carnival games and races, blue ribbon contests, a cake walk, chilli cook-off, apple pressing, blacksmithing, wagon races, and much more will take place over the course of the day. A Block Party Pig Roast with live street music from 5pm-8pm caps off the fun.

If you plan on heading to the Chautauqua Cultural Festival & Fall Fair and need accommodations in Fernie, be sure to have a look at the Fernie Stanford Resort. We have all the amenities and stunning scenery you need for a rejuvenating getaway.