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Keremeos’ Grist Mill gearing up for packed summer season

An ‘insanely busy year’ is on the way for the heritage site
A new wraparound deck has been installed at the vistitor centre at the Grist Mill in Keremeos. (Grist Mill and Gardens)

The Grist Mill and Gardens are getting ready for a busy season packed with events and concerts.

“We’re anticipating an insanely busy year,” said general manager Chris Mathieson.

“We’ve had two years of waiting to do fun things, forget about the public, we just really want to do things.”

Over the off-season, the heritage site has stayed busy with adding plenty of upgrades to the buildings and grounds.

Some of the new upgrades will be immediately obvious, such as the wraparound deck for the main information centre or the new informative gardens.

There are new gardens planted, which are dedicated to different periods of Similkameen history, with one bed for example looking at what a particular pioneer would have grown in their house garden, while another is filled with species of edible flowers.

The old gardens were dug out and new beds were also added to allow for more planting, and soon people will be able to walk through and learn as they go.

The season will soon kick off properly at the Grist Mill, with events like the Teddy Bear Picnic returning on July 2, the gardeners’ gatherings, the Fibre Arts Day in June and the return of the Sunday Speaker Series for the whole summer.

“SESS is going to do their prom here too,” said Mathieson. “I think they were last here five or six years ago.”

A concert series kicks off on June 30 with Vancouver Celtic band Tiller’s Folly. The band has recently been touring with Irish dancers, although there is no word yet on whether they will be joining the show in Keremeos.

Grammy-award-winning Bluegrass musician John Reischmann is also set to perform at the Grist Mill’s outdoor stage.

Other groups haven’t been announced yet, but it’s not all new bands that will hit the stage. The Grist Mill will welcome back three favourites later in the year with two nights of shows as the bands stop in the Similkameen on their way to the Kootenays.

“I’m just honoured that they all asked if they could come play,” said Mathieson.

The gardens have even been busy with bookings for weddings, with two in April and spots being booked into 2023.

READ MORE: Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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