British Columbia

COVID-19 can't stop weddings and tours at this historic gold rush town

Barkerville Historic Town and Park has launched virtual nuptials and tours of the heritage B.C. gold rush site for the 2020 season.

Barkerville Historic Town and Park staff say 'I do' to micro-weddings held on site

The historic town of Barkerville, B.C., will be open this summer for micro-weddings with up to 10 guests. (www.barkerville.ca)

Whether it's a band of gold or a pan of gold you're looking for, you can find what you need at Barkerville Historic Town and Park this summer.

The main town of the Cariboo Gold Rush in the late 1880s, Barkerville is now a national heritage site which thousands of people visit every year to tour the site, watch performances and partake in old-time activities with tour guides who stay in character as Barkerville residents from a bygone era. It's also a popular destination for summer weddings.

But this summer is like no other for the "townspeople" of Barkerville as COVID-19 health concerns mean the welcome wagon will not be rolling out for tourists. 

However, if you're part of a small wedding party, no posse is going to run you out of town.

Micro-wedding ceremonies with up to 10 people have been given the go-ahead in for the heritage site, and the nupitals will be broadcast online for friends and family who can't attend. 

"There are options for people, especially in the region, to get married and hold that wedding virtually," said park spokesperson James Douglas on CBC's Daybreak North on Tuesday.

St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, in Barkerville, B.C., is one of a few possible wedding venues at the national heritage site which also has a Methodist church, a courthouse, and theatre. (www.barkerville.ca)

And you don't need to be betrothed to visit Barkerville this summer. 

If seeing the Gold Rush ghost town is on your bucket list, you can now check it out without leaving the comfort of your couch. 

Barkerville Historic Town & Park is located on the western edge of the Cariboo Mountains, about 80 kilometres east of Quesnel, B.C. (Facebook/Barkerville Historic Town & Park)
A view of Barkerville’s main street during the 1860s gold rush. (Contributed/Barkerville Historic Trust)

Barkerville Live! features the town's costumed guides, who tour and perform for audiences using the Zoom video platform. Douglas said the plan is to eventually broadcast on platforms like Twitch and YouTube, as well.

"Instead of inviting people to Barkerville in the immediate future, we would bring Barkerville to them," said Douglas about the plan, which he said also allows some of the more than 100 summer employees to keep their jobs. 

 

But remember, video tours weren't really a thing in the 1900s — so you might want to remind your Barkerville town guide you come from the future.

To hear the complete interview with James Douglas on Daybreak North, tap here.

With files from Daybreak North

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