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  • Wapiti Music Festival

Wapiti Music Festival Weekend Itinerary

The Wapiti Music Festival has become a firm favourite on the feature summer events calendar, and will celebrate 6 years of the best Canadian Indie in 2016 on August 12-13th in Annex Park. 

The weekend is known for great music, good times and a friendly sunny atmosphere, but that's not all! Plenty of other events, some older, some newer, will also be taking place, and if you want to take them all in you'll need some help with your schedule. Our 'How to Wapiti' itinerary suggests cultural and active options for a fantastic 5 day music-themed long weekend extravaganza- read on for all you need to know!

Make sure you book your accommodation in advance- camping is limited and rooms will fill up fast for this popular weekend!

First, you'll need to the lowdown on The amazing WAPITI MUSIC FESTIVAL. There's a great FAQ page on the event website to help you make the most of the weekend. Here's a few tips:

  • WHO: Wapiti is a family friendly event! Kids 12+U and big kids 65+ get in free. Save time at the gate and purchase your tickets in advance online.
  • WHEN: Gates open at 6:00pm on Friday and noon on Saturday, the music plays until 11pm each evening. Gates open at 6pm on Friday and Noon on Saturday.
  • WHAT: Bring your best listening ears! The theme is 'Fresh Canadian Indie' and this can mean anything from soulful songstresses, rockin' prarie dogs and downhome bluegrass banjo tunes to 10-piece funk orchestras with beats to blow your mind. There's also a vendor market and kids crafts & activities to keep the little ones busy.
  • WHERE: The Festival is located in Annex Park on the North side of town, 6 blocks from the highway. Turn off highway #3 onto 11th St between Snow Valley Motel & Red Tree Lodge and follow this right into the park.
  • WHOW:
    • Stay hydrated! Factory sealed non-glass containers of non-alcoholic beverages may be brought in to the event. There's also free city water on site, so bring an empty reusable bottle or cup.
    • Bring something to sit in/on/under. Blankets go at the front of the lawn behind the dancin' area, then low chairs, followed by high back chairs, and shade tents at the back and along the side.
    • You can bring your vehicle, but it's better if you don't. Limited parking is available, including designated handicapped access. There's a free, secure bike check with room for everyone- and just about all the accommodations in town are within biking/walking distance.
    • Don't forget the sunscreen and something warm for after the sun goes down.
    • Bugs are not usually a problem but bring some spray if you're super-sensitive.
  • WHUNGRY? Don't worry about dinner! There's plenty of great food vendors and a big beverage garden filled with Fernie Brewing Company brew and other BC beverages.
  • WHY? Because it's all about the dancin' shoes and big happy summer smiles!

    So that's your Wapiti, but where to start?                        

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10TH

  • CULTURAL:
    • Roll into town in time to catch the first live outdoor show of the week on Wednesday. The Outdoor Concert Series takes place every Wednesday in July and August on the steps of the Arts Station in Station Square. On August 10th, the Raven & The Fox will be sharing their sweet and soothing sound with Fernie. Live music from 6.30-8.30pm.
  • ACTIVE:
    • If you're in the mood for something more active, join the FWOW ride- Fernie Women on Wheels meet every week in summer to hit the great mountain bike trails around town for an evening ride. Check the Facebook page for details, including start time and route. All women welcome, 2 groups for varied abilities. Free, but Fernie Mountain Bike Club membership is required to participate, just $25 for the entire year gets you into unlimited events!
  • GOOD EATS: Check out the food truck options at the Outdoor Concert, or drop into nearby Loaf Bakery for fresh hand-tossed pizza and FBC beer on the patio.                          

THURSDAY AUGUST 11TH

FRIDAY AUGUST 12TH

SATURDAY AUGUST 13TH

  • CULTURAL:
    •  Join a Heritage Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Fernie. Learn about our legends and beautiful architecture on this gentle 1.5 hr tour starting from the Fernie Museum at 11am. Book online to secure your spot!
      The tour finishes just in time to grab your bike and head on over to Wapiti to catch the first act at 12.30pm. Stay for the day and enjoy amazing music right through to 11pm. After the festival winds up, it's back downtown for even more live music! The Bonsais will be beating the late night at the Royal.
  • ACTIVE: 
    • Early risers can explore the beautiful South Country near Fernie on the Highline 100 road bike ride. There's several distance options on this popular friendly annual ride and the tour includes lunch, a 'worlds best cinnamon bun' and ice cream before returning to Fernie for a banquet dinner at Fernie Alpine Resort or taking in the evening's entertainment at Wapiti.
  • GOOD EATS: Sample more food truck treats at Wapiti       

SUNDAY AUGUST 14TH

  • CULTURAL:
    • Start the day by checking out some of the live art demos on the Columbia Basin Trust Culture Tour including live painting at the Fernie Arts Co-op and Felting demos at the Eye of the Needle Studio (also on Saturday) All locations are open to the public from 10am-5pm.
    • Bibbity Bobbity Boo is Fernie's annual children's festival in the park from 10am-2pm. It's free and open to all ages, but aimed at under 10's. There will be live entertainment and music throughout the day including A Magic Show, Jugglers and a Bubble Dance Party with DJ Jay Ray; plus Hoola Hooping, Gold Panning with Fort Steele, Facepainting, Balloons, Photobooth, Arts & Crafts, Sprinklers, Watermelon and a Parade. Children are encouraged to dress in circus themed costumes, or just come as you are. Rotary Park features a large children's playground, free parking, washrooms and plenty of shade.
    • The Park is also home to the weekly Mountain Market. Explore the many booths and pick up local crafts and produce. There's always great treats to discover!
  • ACTIVE:
    • Discover the spectacular Island Lake Lodge in the Old Growth Cedar Valley. Trails begin with a gentle stroll around the lake or bag a peak on one of the more challenging hikes. Guides are available if you prefer a more interpretive hike.  Island Lake is also the terminus for the Iconic Heikos/Mountain Lakes Trail. The Spa at Island Lake will be a welcome retreat at the end of a good day's hiking.
  • GOOD EATS: Island Lake Lodge offers laid back patio dining for lunch and refined fine dining for dinner. Savour the spectacular views and understated farm-to-fork cuisine at this foodie paradise.

                         

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  • Itinerary Tips & Tricks
    • Wapiti is Fernie's annual music festival, held in August
    • 'Wapiti' is derived from the Cree word for Elk
    • The weather should be hot and sunny, but this is the Rocky Mountains so check the forecast to be sure
    • Tenting and RV Camping is available at Fernie RV Resort & Mt Fernie Provincial Park. Snow Valley Motel, closest to the event, offer a few RV spots. There is no camping at the festival as it's a residential area
    • The festival ends at 11pm each day, but there's more live music downtown to keep the party going