Taylor Gold Panning Championships returns for 50th anniversary

TAYLOR, B.C. – The World Invitational Gold Panning Championships is set to return to Taylor’s Peace Island Park this weekend for its 50th-anniversary event after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus.

The event was started by the late Dorse Prosser and Jesse Starnes and has been held in Taylor since 1972.

The first championship took place on the banks of the Peace River, adjacent to the railway bridge. From 1973 onwards, the event has been held at Peace Island Park.

The inaugural event saw Fort St. John’s Mel Clark take home the title of World’s Class “A” Gold Panning Champion, with Starnes as the runner-up.

Since its inception, the class “A” competition has brought top-level certified professional panners from Australia, Holland, and the U.S. to the region. Class “A” competitors are measured in three areas: speed panning, skill panning, and fine gold panning.

Other categories included in the championship are:

  • Class “B” – Non-Professional
  • Class “C” – Adult/Juvenile
  • Media/Celebrity/Sponsor
  • Claim Staking – Adult/Juvenile
  • Metal Detecting – Adult/Juvenile
  • Juvenile Open – 14 and under

This year’s event kicks off on Friday at 6 p.m. with parade judging and a gold panning parade at 6:30 p.m.

Festivities continue on Saturday with an Arts and Craft Fair at 9 a.m. Registration for the competition opens up at 11 a.m.

Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a bannock baking competition at 7:30 p.m. and a family campfire open jam at 9 p.m.

Sunday’s activities begin with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by adult metal detecting and a craft fair, both starting at 9 a.m.

For a full schedule of events, view the brochure below:

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