Bringing the history and heritage of Cumberland to life, Marianne Bell hopes the Cumberland Heritage Faire and Lantern Festival is a way to remember the village’s past with a modern twist.
Bell is the chair of the Cumberland Events Society who is undertaking the organization of the annual celebration on Feb. 16.
In addition to kicking off Heritage Week around the province, Bell said the event ties in with the Lunar New Year.
“This would have been a big celebration in (Cumberland’s) Chinatown,” she explained. “We want to take our history, remember where we came from, and make it a bit modern.”
The celebrations start at the Cumberland Recreation Hall (CRI) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the faire which will feature table displays, vendors, refreshments and entertainment. There will also be an opportunity for families and kids to make a lantern, which they can carry in the parade later that evening.
The Cumberland Museum and Archives is open by donation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with exhibits to explore, including a new Labour History display, Bell noted.
Around 6:15 p.m., people are encouraged to meet at the Village Square (near The Wandering Moose Cafe) for a group walk to Village Park where they will meet fire dancers for a short performance, followed by a lantern release. Bell said the event should take about half an hour.
The Lantern Festival is weather-dependent, and she explained while lanterns will be released within a secured area (members of the public are not allowed to release lanterns), people are encouraged to bring lights, flashlights on sticks, glow lights or lanterns to join in the festivities.
Additionally, there are two workshops for adults above 16 years of age to create their own intricate lantern – Feb. 2 and Feb. 9 at the Cumberland Cultural Centre from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. The cost is $25 per person.
To register for the workshop or to volunteer for the Heritage Faire, contact Bell at 250-400-5327.