The 150th celebrations at Barkerville Historic Site will have an extra dash of authenticity this weekend.
William Billy Barker's great-great-granddaughter Elaine Edgington is making the trip to the tourist attraction from her home in England for the special anniversary Aug. 11 and 12.
Edgington is a descendent of the wife and daughter Barker left behind when he left Cambridgeshire in the 1840s to look for work in North America.
She will be the guest of honour at the 2012 Canadian National Gold Panning Championships and will speak at a special Discovery Day ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Discovery Day is the official commemoration of Billy Barker's gold strike in August, 1862. He and his partners discovered a 30-foot layer of gold-bearing gravel 52 feet below the surface of Williams Creek. The find yielded an average 100 ounces of gold per day.
Weekend events will include musical performances throughout the town, located 80 kilometres east of Quesnel, as well as a brand new Billy Barker historical interpretation and 100-lb birthday cake.
The gold panning competition will be hosted by Scott Rea, the five-time world invitational gold panning champion. Anyone can participate in a variety of categories, provided they register 10 minutes prior to each event. Competition categories include child, adult, teams, grudge match and King of the Creek.