BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for August 20 – 26

This week in BC: see a sexy show with the Chippendales or Lingerie Lunch, enjoy a bounty of local food and drink at Okanagan Feast of Fields, and see some action at the PNE and Cranbrook ProRodeo

Credit: TV Week

Get your adrenaline pumping at one of the PNE’s many thrilling rides

What to do in BC this week

Get a Thrill at the Cranbrook ProRodeo – August 19-21
Cowboys from across the continent are about to buck up for the 25th annual Cranbrook ProRodeo, taking place August 19 to 21 at Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds (5325 Staples Rd, Cranbrook). Just as you’d expect of any rodeo worth its rawhide, this all-ages exhibition features everything from bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding to tie-down roping, steer wrestling and a ladies’ barrel race. And that’s not all: other activities include a Saturday night dance, Sunday church service, food concessions and children’s day, complete with trick riders, clowns and bull wranglers.

Shop Until You Drop at the Summer Sidewalk Sale – August 20
Shopaholic alert: If your usual Saturday routine includes meandering through the mall, there’s another way to get your fashion fix this weekend. On August 20, Vancouverites can stock up on fall fashions at a Summer Sidewalk Sale hosted by Adhesif Clothing and Forsya Boutique at the corner of Main Street and East 6th Avenue. While musician Rob Bertrand busts out a backdrop of live beats, you can bargain hunt for vintage records, clothes, shoes and accessories at up to 70 per cent off by designers like Little Houses, Mortar and Pestle, Dotted Loop, Darwin Jewelry, Bianca Barr, Daub and Design, Fiveleft and Schaart Clothing. And because power shopping is hard work, there’s also a lemonade stand, sweet treats from Sprout Vegan Bakery, candy bags for the kids and face painting for all ages. Check it out from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Watch a Master Glassblower in Action – August 20
Talk about a glass act! The Loafing Shed Glass Studio (9060 184th St, Port Kells in Surrey) melds art with utilitarianism in a collection of hand-blown wares that run the range from vases and bowls to platters and ornaments. Can something so fragile still be functional? You bet — master artist Robert Gary Parkes is set to shatter expectations at an open house on August 20 from 11 a.m. to 
4 p.m., or you can book a demo to see him in action as he creates a work of art, start to finish, while sharing fascinating trivia about the history of glass. Demos take about an hour, and tours are customized to the age and size of the group. For more information, or to book a group tour, call 604-612-2753.

Sing along at Live at Squamish 2011 – August 20-21
There are lots of ways to experience the sights and sounds of summer. For music lovers, the best option just might be Live at Squamish 2011, a multi-stage music festival taking place August 20 and 21 at Hendrickson Fields. Like a B.C. version of Glastonbury, this European-style exposition features an eclectic mix of music that runs the range from Weezer, Metric and Girl Talk to Bend Sinister, Doc Martin and the John Butler Trio. And don’t bother packing a lunch, ‘cause an on-site food fair will be serving up eats for all, including fussy eaters, health nuts and those with food allergies.

Celebrate Summer with Whistler Presents Concert Series – August 20-28
Yes, we know: there’s no such thing as a free lunch, yada yada yada. But, thankfully, there is such thing as a free concert. Case in point? Whistler Presents Concert Series, an outdoor music fest taking place August 20 and 21 at Whistler Olympic Plaza, starting at 7 p.m. This free musical mashup in the heart of the alpine village features live shows by “awesome Canadian acts” like Brother Twang and Barenaked Ladies on an open stage overlooking Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The concert series concludes August 28.

Sweat for a Cause at the Fraser Valley Kidney Walk – August 21
Did you know that an estimated 85 per cent of British Columbians are in favour of organ donation? Sounds great, right? Not so fast . . . only 17 per cent of those surveyed have registered to be organ donors, meaning that the 4,800 B.C.’ers currently on kidney dialysis will have to wait up to five years for a new kidney — if they survive that long. Raising awareness about the importance of organ donation is the aim of the Fraser Valley Kidney Walk, taking place August 21 at Bear Creek Park (King George Hwy. & 88 Ave, Surrey), where you can walk or run the 2.5K and 5K routes, starting at 11 a.m. And if you’re allergic to exercise, no worries: you can save lives in your pajamas by making a donation online at fraservalleykidneywalk.ca or by calling 1-800-567-8112.

Try a 40-course Meal at Okanagan Feast of Fields – August 21
Think a four-course meal is indulgent? That’s nothing! Try sinking your teeth into a 40-course meal, which is exactly what’s in store for epicureans with big appetites at Okanagan Feast of Fields. Held on August 21, this culinary showcase gives you a chance to sample some of the finest gourmet eats smack dab in the middle of Van Westen Vineyards (2800A Aikins Loop, Naramata). Picture a picnic, but with a posh difference — instead of scarfing back sandwiches and pop you’ll be sipping world-class wine and beer as you taste-test the best of B.C.’s bounty from assorted chefs, farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans from across the province. Tickets for this outdoor eat-a-thon, held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., are $85 per person from feastoffields.com and Choices Markets.

Enjoy a Lingerie Lunch – August 25
Forget the microwave — there’s more than one way to heat up your lunch this summer. On the last Thursday of every month, the Shark Club Bar and Grill (180 West Georgia St, Vancouver) serves up a steamy Lingerie Lunch from noon to 2 p.m. Guys can feast their eyes on a bevy of beautiful babes from Voltage Entertainment as they strut their stuff in this flimsiest of fashion shows. To book a table for the next Lingerie Lunch, taking place on August 25, call 604-687-4275.

Oogle some Chippendales at the Ultimate Girls Night Out Tour – August 26-27
Call 911! The River Rock Show Theatre (8811 River Rd, Richmond) is on fire — and it’s all thanks to the hard-bodied hunks of Chippendales, considered “the world’s most recognized brand name in ladies’ entertainment.” So gather up the gals ’cause the buff boys are bringing their Ultimate Girls Night Out tour to the River Rock and the Red Robinson Show Theatre (2080 United Blvd, Coquitlam) on August 26 and 27, respectively. Capturing the perfect balance of sex appeal and tasteful teasing, this testosterone-pumped revue rolls out everything from men in uniform to dusty cowboys dancing and singing their way into the hearts of birthday girls, bachelorettes and everyone in between. Purchase tickets for $42.50 at Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-855-985-5000 or online at ticketmaster.ca

Visit the PNE – until September 5
Mini-doughnuts. PNE Prize Home. Gravity-defying thrill rides. Those are just three of the reasons why the Pacific National Exhibition, running from August 20 to September 5, is Vancouver’s favourite summer fair. And that’s on top of a slew of other attractions, including an on-site casino, Superdogs show, mega marketplace and nightly concerts featuring the likes of Kenny Rogers, Donny Osmond, Delhi 2 Dublin, Kim Mitchell and Wilson Phillips. Better yet: Between the sizzle of frying onions, the call of midway barkers and the shrieks of ride-goers, you’ll be too distracted to remember that summer vacation is almost officially over. Buy gate passes on site for $20 per person or pre-purchase them for a $3.20 discount online at pne.ca or at Safeway and 7-Eleven locations.

Ride a Horse at Glen Valley Stables – anytime
Yee-haw! You’ll almost feel like you’ve been transported back to the Wild West when you hop aboard the horses at Glen Valley Stables (8045 252nd St, Fort Langley). Run by 2009 “Guide of the Year” Gene Park, the ranch offers one- and two-hour trail rides through Campbell Valley Park that’ll guarantee city slickers a great time, requisite sore rear notwithstanding. And whether you’re a new rider or an old hand, equestrians of all levels can get back in the saddle by calling 
604-888-5516 to book a group or private excursion, priced at $40 per hour or $70 for two hours, per person.

Peruse some Produce at a Langley Circle Farm Tour – anytime
If you’re tired of limp lettuce and crunch-less carrots, then the Langley Circle Farm Tour just might be for you. A tasty way to promote agri-tourism, a dozen local businesses — all known for promoting farm-fresh fare — are opening their doors to give epi-curious customers a peek at their products. On this self-guided tour, you’ll travel at your own pace to any (or all) of the participating businesses — the choice is yours. Possible stops include Krause Berry Farms, Domaine de Chaberton, Cedar Rim Nurseries, Milner Valley Cheese and Aldor Acres, among others. The tour is available year round, but word of advice: you might want to pre-plan your agenda by calling 604-888-1477 as some venues operate only on a seasonal basis.