Sunday Garden Party to celebrate Osoyoos ‘pioneers’

Osoyoos Home Hardware owner Frances Sologuk with one piece of her gift to the community.

Osoyoos Home Hardware is looking to turn back time this Sunday, celebrating the community’s pioneers with a good old-fashioned garden party.

The event — scheduled for 85 Street, just east of the store — runs from 5 to 8 p.m. It promises to be a step back in time to an era of big band music, strawberry socials and story-telling.

Yes, you can dress the part — period costumes are encouraged.

“We wanted to celebrate with the community’s pioneers,” explained Home Hardware owner Frances Sologuk.

“We have a 14-piece big band. We’ve got beef on a bun. We’ve got a strawberry social.”

“And we’ve got the pioneers, the story-telling. I know there’s quite a few people actually quite excited to be able to pull out their old clothes.”

A big part of the celebration will be the official unveiling of murals that decorate Home Hardware’s east wall.

“As you can see from our store, we’re really into preserving the history of our area,” Mrs. Sologuk said.

“We started with murals many years ago, but they weathered under the sun. Last year, we replaced the murals. They are from actual photographs of the area and they’re done on aluminum. This year, we put it into our budget to get the plaques made so there’s a story behind each mural.”

The guests of honour for the event will be citizen builders from the the early years of the previous century.

“We will have many pioneers here to unveil the murals. They’ve lived here 80, 85 years. There’s going to be so many stories being told.

“We’re actually going to have a row set up where the pioneers will be sitting. Some of them are bringing pictures, postcards and photo albums. It’s for everybody to really find out about the area.”

Although the Sologuk family has owned the store for 43 years, Mrs. Sologuk does not consider herself a pioneer.

“I wasn’t born and raised here,” she explains. “I fell in love and made Osoyoos my home. And, when I moved here in 1973, it was many of the pioneers that welcomed me to the community. That’s why I want to preserve their history.”

She declined to say how much the store has put into the murals or what it will cost to host the garden party.

“It’s not about that,” she said. “It’s really more about enjoying the way it used to be on a Sunday afternoon.

“It’s going to be a very informal event. It’s going to be a garden party — a social garden party. We’ve got plants coming, and trees. We’re doing what we can to make it into a garden.”

The event is, however, a fundraiser for the Osoyoos Museum.

“We are going to be asking for donations. We are going to be encouraging everyone to make a donation when they get beef on the bun.”

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