The Lion’s Park Action Committee is extending an open invitation to the whole community to celebrate Saint-Jean Baptiste Day as well as the arrival of agricultural workers to Oliver at the 2ndAnnual Saint-Jean Baptiste Day Farm Workers Picnic.
The South Okanagan receives several hundred French-Canadian agricultural workers every summer who pick fruit at surrounding orchards supporting the local growers as well as the local economy. For over 40 years, young workers and visitors from Quebec have been making the pilgrimage west to the Okanagan Valley for the experience of picking fruit and celebrating Saint-Jean Baptiste Day.
Oliver’s Lion’s Park has become a special meeting place for visitors and young workers from all over the world. The Lion’s Park Action Committee was formed after public discussions were held to address the communities concerns about the heightened use of Lion’s Park during the summer months, with the goal of taking positive action to reduce tension, increase communications and foster appropriate use of the park.
The Saint-Jean Baptiste Day Farm Workers Picnic is an opportunity for our local residents to socialize with the young workers and welcome them to our community. The picnic theme is family-friendly and the event is inclusive to everyone who wishes to celebrate French-Canadian culture, community spirit and who supports diversity.
The picnic, which is an official Celebrate Canada event, will take place from 4:00-7:00pm on Friday, June 23 in Lion’s Park. There is no admission, everyone is welcome to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and come down to enjoy live musical entertainment featuring French-Canadian folk music and a DJ and sample from different food stations. There will also be family-friendly activities and special contests and a chance to meet some new people. Due to the huge success of last year’s efforts by the 7th Day Adventist church, a big clothing swap will also be a part of the event, so people are encouraged to bring clothes they no longer wear and swap them for others.
A Facebook page has been set up for the event and posters will be up in the community this week. Anyone wishing to assist with serving food, running games or setting up the event is asked to contact Carol Sheridan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-498-4985.