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A bit of Bavaria in Canada's Rockies reinventing itself once again This picturesque little community in the heart of the Rocky Mountains has the feel of a European village and the Kimberley Alpine Resort is internationally renowned for world class skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

In the summer, mountain bikers explore its pristine trails and fishermen, campers and golfers visit in droves but, despite its claim to be the "Bavarian City of the Rockies," it turns out its German roots are only skin deep."It was just a theme that was chosen. It really didn't come out of any fact that there was a large Bavarian community or anything like that," acknowledges Sioban Staplin, manager of the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce."In the early 1970s, the city fathers were informed by Teck Cominco that the mine would be depleted in a certain number of years and, if they weren't going to fall off the map and turn into an old mining ghost town, they had better get their act together and brace the tourism economy."Kimberley used Leavenworth, Wash., as a model. It adopted the Bavarian theme back in the 1960's, when the railway left the community and the local sawmill closed."It worked very well for many, many years but, I wouldn't necessarily say that visitors are more sophisticated now, www ray ban but they're looking for more authentic experiences and they quickly see that this isn't the real McCoy," admitted Staplin.In other words the German roots in Kimberley have been branching out a little."I don't know about reinventing but Kimberley is certainly evolving. We're more than a Bavarian theme town. We're definitely a four season destination," she said."Ten years ago the kitschy Bavarian stuff was removed at that time and it has more of an alpine/European flavour which I think is working ray ben quite well."There is also an increased emphasis on the community's real roots in the mining industry."We have 100 years of mining history. We had the world's largest lead and zinc mine and rayban eyewear our underground mining railway is doing a fabulous job of starting to inform people that this is what ray ban rb3016 Kimberley was built on," said Staplin."When the mine closed it was a bit of a downer. It was a sad day in Kimberley so when that sort of thing happens and people are losing their jobs and families are getting ready to move on it wasn't the right time then."That doesn't mean that the Bavarian theme is going away anytime soon. A survey found residents and businesses were adamant about keeping the largest freestanding cuckoo clock in Canada and the Platzl, a quaint outdoor pedestrian plaza at the centre of the downtown."Folks say even if the theme were to change, they want that clock there because generations have been brought up (with it), popped the coin in and Happy Hans pops out and yodels."Kimberley also bills itself as the "City of Festivals" and is home to a thriving arts and cultural scene.One of the more unique, said Staplin, is the The Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships in the second week of July."There's five or six days when we're invaded by the silver hair RV set and some younger folk as well. They get out there and dance and they play their accordions and have a heck of a good time," she said with a chuckle.Other festivals include 'JulyFest' which includes Canada's Championship Bocce Tournament, 'Miners' Day' as well as 'Arts on the Edge' in August and the grassroots 'Kootenay Dirtbag Film and Photo Fest' on Thanksgiving weekend in October. Check out the Kimberley Alpine Resort for skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

Take a ride on Kimberley's Underground Mining Railway as it winds through the Mark Creek Valley. The railway links downtown with the site of the old Sullivan Mine surface facilities recent mine reclamation activities. Try the schnitzel at the Old Bauernhaus Restaurant, an Alpine log house and cider barn built in Germany in 1640 that was transported and reassembled in Kimberley in 1989.


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