Tulameen River flows with brass

During the weekend music festival, Orkestar Slivovica took a walk down to the Brown Bridge swimming hole.

Orkestar Slivovica cools down  in the Tulameen River during the Princeton Traditional Music Festival.

Orkestar Slivovica cools down in the Tulameen River during the Princeton Traditional Music Festival.

It’s been often said that every person and every place has a story to tell and if places could actually speak, our very own Tulameen River would have a unique story to boast about.

During this past weekend, the sixth annual Princeton Traditional Music Festival was held in  the down town core.

One hundred plus performers filled Veterans Square and the museum grounds from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Princeton Library was host to an acoustic stage and the Golden Hills Ice Cream Parlour as an open mic stage on Saturday as well.

During the heat of the afternoon, Orkestar Slivovica, a Balkan Brass Band out of Vancouver, took a break from the festival—danced and played their way down Bridge Street and right into the Tulameen River.

“They went straight in playing their instruments, some of them with just their face and instrument poking out of the water,” explained Lucy Nylund and Kay Goglin, two locals who were enjoying the festival. “It was just great,” they added.

The three day festival began early evening on Friday with welcomes from festival founders, Rika Ruebsaat and Jon Bartlett, Mayor Frank Armitage, Area H director, Brad Hope, MP Alex Atamanenko and MLA Jackie Tegart.

The evening then carried on with the festival street dance with music from the Psycho Acoustic Celi Band and instructions from Keri-Ann Thor.

Veteran’s Way filled with dancers of all ages who either learned a new dance or perfected one they already knew.

Saturday and Sunday saw the streets of Princeton fill with performers, visitors to the festival and an impressive amount of locals out  enjoying it this year too.

“There are way more people this year,” said Jean Mackie, who was vending popcorn this weekend. “Rosemary (in charge of vendors) did a great job, she added.”

A couple having their photo taken at the Gazebo “Princeton” sign heard about the festival from friends and travelled from Hope to attend.

“We will come back every year,” they said, “this was so nice.”

The festival performers don’t just make music—they tell stories. If you listen, you have the opportunity to learn about history, people from other places, lost loves, found loves and even how people from the past are much like people of today. You can learn that is possible to find goodness in almost any situation, as well as the fact that a bit of scoundrel or vixen can be found within us all.

One such story teller, is Orville Murphy. Murphy is an 87 year old harmonica player originally from Kentucky. His grandmother taught him to play when he was about seven. He served in the Navy during World War II, got married and “didn’t really play a lot during those days.” “I picked it up again in my 60’s,” he said.

Murphy participated in the ‘Blues Workshop’ during the festival as well as performed with his partner Jerry Middaugh.

Local Jason Gasparetto, a young and talented blues performer himself, was in awe of Murphy, Barry Hall, and Henk Piket—all performers in the workshop.

“These guys are just incredible,” he said, “you gotta just let em go and do their thing.”  “They are awesome.”

Murphy and Middaugh entertained and taught a little history with songs about a dispute that was settled “in self-defence” with the purchase of two pistols… a bit of laughter ensued with a song about a “high maintenance woman” — “with turkey red bloomers.”

The two have performed in five festivals this summer and according to Murphy—first time to the Princeton festival, “this one is the best.”

Ruebsaat and Bartlett could not say enough about the community support they received for the festival this year.

The Town of Princeton gave ‘a whole bunch of assistance,’ beginning with the wonderful site for the festival. The Princeton business community support was incredible, the vendors made such a nice festival atmosphere and the Princeton Ambassadors and Chamber of Commerce were a terrific help in promoting.

Included in the thank you’s as well were all the volunteers, billet homes, the Princeton Museum, the Princeton Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library, the RDOS, the federal and provincial governments, the Princeton Arts Council, the Princeton Legion, the Similkameen Newsleader and the Similkameen Spotlight and to the performers Ruebsaat added, “we are blessed to have such incredible, talented musicians.”

With the increased amount of community support, Bartlett summed up the weekends success by stating simply, “it is not just our festival—it has become our festival.” (Princeton’s Traditional Music Festival)

Kudos to the festival committee; Rika Ruebsaat and Jon Bartlett, Derek Winter, Ole Juul, Stu James, Mary Maisel, Pat Schmunk, Johanna Nott, Rosemary Doughty and Darnella Armitage. Great job everyone.


Just Posted

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

Most Read