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Llama kissing booth a hit at North Okanagan event

The Rusty Spur’s grand opening community event had a bit of everything
Hayley Bouzek of Gold Fox Acres petting zoo gives a llama a peck at the Llama Kissing Booth, a main attraction at the Rusty Spur in Lumby Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, when the feed and pet food store held a grand opening community event in its new location. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

People puckered up donations at the Rusty Spur Saturday as a llama kissing booth was the highlight of a fun weekend event in the North Okanagan.

Over their 20 years owning and operating the Rusty Spur, a feed and pet food store in Lumby, Stuart Anderson and Andrea Mann have gotten into the habit of celebrating their business’s anniversary with the community in the form of an event that raises funds for local groups and causes. This year, they turned that anniversary event into a grand opening for their new location off Shuswap Avenue.

The new store is about five times as large as the old one, said Anderson, signalling the store’s success over the years as the couple continue to expand after opening a store in Enderby three years ago.

On Saturday the new store property was bustling with people from the community enjoying the sunny September weather.

“Last year in our little store we had 600 individuals come through, and looking at this event today I’d be shocked if we don’t get between 1,200 and 1,500 people,” Anderson said.

In one area of the property, Hayley Bouzek of Gold Fox Acres petting zoo was busy rousing a llama resting in its pen. Folks were paying up at the llama kissing booth — which was raising money for the Monashee Arts Council, who were at the event doing their annual sale — and it was time for the llama to give them their money’s worth with a smooch for Bouzek.

“It’s been a great day,” said Bouzek, who also had goats and ducklings along with her to show to the kids.

Jitterbeans Coffee House was at the event lending a hand with the food, which was for sale by donation in support of the Lumby and District Ice Skating Club and the local U11 girl’s hockey team — welcome funds as both groups are getting ready for their seasons to start soon.

The Dirt Road Kings, a cover band from Armstrong, played a mix of country and rock and roll tunes throughout the day.

Anderson thanked the community for coming out to support the event.

“We’re lucky to be here and get that support.”

READ MORE: Rusty Spur rounds up new Lumby location

READ MORE: Walk, roll and run at annual Lumby fundraiser

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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