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Wrestling Day is a civic holiday for Williams Lake residents


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Who wants to wrestle :P


VANCOUVER – Residents of Williams Lake are enjoying their annual Wrestling Day today.

It’s a civic holiday that dates back to the 40s, and was officially made a by-law in 1959. According to the Tourism Williams Lake website, the day was created by two merchants, Alistair MacKenzie and Sid Western. On Jan. 2 of an unknown year, as they looked out their shop windows on to the snowy and deserted streets and decided residents should be given the day off. No one should work and they should be with their community members and loved ones. There are rumours the day was named because people were still ‘wrestling’ with their New Year’s Day hangover.

Following a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ in the town, Wrestling Day was created the day after New Year’s Day.

For many years the day did not include any actual wrestling. However, the local wrestling clubs are now planning some events to make the day more about wrestling and not just a day off.

One mayor in the 70s attempted to end the holiday, but due to community backlash, it stays to this day.

Wrestling Day is only a civic holiday in Williams Lake, but some other Canadian provinces have stat holidays unique to their residents.

Newfoundland and Labrador have Discovery Day on the nearest Monday to June 24. It is a day to celebrate a man named Giovanni Caboto’s (also known as John Cabot). He discovered the island portion of the province in 1497 and it has been a holiday since 1997.

The province also has St. George’s Day on the Monday closest to April 23 each year. Legend has it, St. George killed a dragon and saved a princess, but historically he was a Roman soldier who was executed for being a Christian on April 23, 303 CE.

In Manitoba, residents celebrate Louis Riel Day on the third Monday of February. Riel was a man behind making Manitoba the fifth Canadian province.

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