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June might just be the perfect month in Prince George. It’s a great time to be outdoors because the weather is excellent and everyone is smiling as the city says goodbye to winter and hello to spring and summer. Plus, schools aren’t out yet so there are no crowds to contend with. With all that going for it, here are five reasons to love Prince George in June:
1. Patios: June is the month to grab your sunglasses, find a sunny table, and start enjoying dining al fresco! It’s warm enough that you won’t need that extra layer, but not so hot that you need to worry about burning. And with no crowds, you won’t have to wait for a table. Several of Prince George’s locally-owned restaurants have outdoor seating, including Alpine Pub & Grill, Betulla Burning, B X Neighbourhood Pub, Cimo Mediterranean Grill, CrossRoads Brewing, and Northern Lights Estate Winery. What could be better than lunch, a drink, or appies outside?
2. Off-leash dog parks: You don’t have to own a dog to enjoy a stroll through two of Prince George’s finest parks, and the June weather makes them even better. Nestled between Foothills Blvd., Otway Rd., and 1st Ave., Moore’s Meadow Nature Park is a real gem that bears the namesake of an early pioneer settler of Prince George. There are several kilometers of trails through the forest surrounding the main meadow area, where mowed paths cut through over half a kilometer of tall grass and wildflowers. In Ginter’s Meadow, named after the guy who popularized pull-tab beer cans, a (wide and flat) paved walking path connects three main parking areas/entrances at the western ends of Ferry Ave., Massey Dr., and 18 Ave. Feeling more adventurous? Trails leading up and out of Ginter’s Meadow connect it to the UNBC trail system and, from there, to Forests for the World, which is a fantastic (but not off-leash) park in its own right. In both Moore’s and Ginter’s there are large designated areas where your pooch is allowed to run wild (but under control, please!). Just remember to do the right thing and clean up after your pet. There are free poop bags and trash cans throughout both parks.
3. Local craft beer, cider, and fruit wine: Looking to wet your whistle? Prince George has excellent locally-owned offerings to suit all tastes. Trench Brewing features a variety of fine craft beers and cider in its spacious tasting room, and offers several snack options if you’re looking for some nosh. Want a bigger meal? Try CrossRoads Brewing, where you can pair their craft beers with pizzas from an Italian wood-fired oven, as well as sandwiches, pasta dishes, and more. Or visit Northern Lights Estate Winery, which offers a refined selection of fruit wines made from estate-grown fruit, and a variety of sophisticated tapas, salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Their chic tasting room, bistro, and patio are situated on banks of the Nechako River and offer stunning views of their orchard, with the river below. If you want to take the party to go, both Trench and CrossRoads offer growler fills, and the tasting room at Northern Lights sells their wines by the bottle.
4. Rivers: Prince George has two rivers, and taking a sunny stroll through the many parks and greenbelts situated along them are part of what makes June so special here. Did you know that you can walk from the Cameron St. Bridge all the way to Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park? The 5 km walk along the southern bank of the Nechako River and western bank of the Fraser River takes you through Kiwanis Park and Cottonwood Island Nature Park along the way, and the views of the river are a relaxing way to spend any morning, afternoon, or evening – or your lunch hour! Further upriver on the Nechako are Wilkins Regional Park and the new Nechako Riverside Park on Foothills Blvd., both of which have picnic areas in view of the river, and then there’s Wilson Park to the southeast. And don’t forget the fantastic overlooks from LC Gunn Park on the eastern bank of the Fraser. With so many options, get out and enjoy a river walk before the crowds show up!
5. Trees: Trees are everywhere in Prince George, and June is the perfect time to appreciate them. There are new buds, leaves, and beautiful flowers on the deciduous trees, and the recent rain has caused big splashes of colour all over town. From the furtive faces carved by Elmer Gunderson into the big trees in Cottonwood Island Nature Park, to the endless wooded hills seen when driving south on Foothills Blvd., and all the neighbourhood parks and green spaces in between, being surrounded by trees is one of the best parts of being in Prince George, so get outside and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of spring! Be sure to keep an eye out (and your ears open) for all the migratory birds that have returned to Prince George for the spring and summer.
Do you need a hot drink in a cozy café to escape the cold? Keep reading to find out our favourite coffee spots around Prince George.
Let us know you're favourite spot for a warm beverage!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and there’s lots of unique things happening to show your mom how much you appreciate her. Brunch is a popular choice and a great way to spoil mom (and yourself). Not in the mood for brunch? Spend some time making pottery at Carlson Pottery or go for a picnic at your favourite city park (FYI: Connaught Hill is now open).
Keep reading to learn about five things happening this weekend for Mother's Day.
Dandy Lines: Celebrate your mom with Dandy Lines on Saturday, May 12. Emily Jane Photography will be taking images at the pop-up photobooth, florals will be on hand from Something Blue Floral, Fabulous Cakes by Jenn will be providing mini cupcakes and there will be giveaways.
Mother’s Day Mug Class: Spend quality time with your mom while making a mug or a vase during a two hour class at Carlson Pottery. Cost is $29 per person and you can register online at carlsonpottery.com/classes.
Mother’s Day Brunch at Cornerstone Kitchen and Lounge: Join the Ramada for their annual Mother’s Day Brunch. There will be lots of food options, including a custom crepe station, custom omelette station, and desserts. Three seatings are available and cost varies between $15.99 (for kids under 12) to $29.99 (for adults).
Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet at Fore Bistro: Fore Bistro is offering a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet with numerous food options including pastries, a seafood bar, a salad bar, crepe station (with flambéed fruit), carved baron of beef, and a variety of desserts. Reservations are required for the three seatings. Cost is $24.95 for adults, $12.50 for kids 12 and under, and free for children under 5.
Winston’s Mother’s Day Brunch: Treat your Mom to a fantastic spread including a Starter Breakfast Buffet (filled with parfaits and pastries) and a delicious entrée, and ending with a decadent dessert. Three seatings are available and cost is $29.95.
St Patrick’s Day 2018
St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and Prince George is ready to celebrate! Keep reading to learn about the 14 we’re most excited for, including a unique “brew-ski” at Caledonia Nordic Centre!
1. Brew-Ski: Caledonia Nordic and CrossRoads Brewing are hosting a “poker run” style Brew-Ski! Ski to five locations for beer tasters and a playing card in an effort to get the best poker hand and win the grand prize!
2. Kiss Me, I’m Irish – St Patrick’s Day Party with Rick Stavely: Dance the night away at Fore Bistro with live music from Rick Stavely and a variety of drink specials. Tickets are just $10.
3. Paddy’s Day: The Black Clover is ready to show off their Irish roots and welcomes everyone to join them. Get swag, win prizes, and enjoy live music from Dustin Keillor.
4. Shamrock Shaker 2018: Party in the Roll-A-Dome for an epic night of shenanigans, beer, and awesome music from DJ Darkness and Joe Latino.
5. Shamrock Shaker at Lambda Cabaret: Celebrate St Patty’s Day with Lambda Cabaret and enjoy some of the cheapest drinks in town and food available past midnight. Admission just $10 at the door.
6. St Patrick’s Day at Alibis: Party all night long (or at least from 7pm until 3am) at Alibis. They’re going green and you’re invited to join them!
7. St Patrick’s Day at Don Cherry’s: Join the party at Don Cherry’s! Enjoy Irish tunes, green beer, and good times all day long.
8. St Patrick’s Day at Nelly’s Pub: Everyone’s Irish on St Patrick’s Day and Nelly’s Pub invites you to join them. They’ll have green beer, Irish shots, Irish cocktails, and live music from Killbillies and DJ Dave. No cover.
9.St Patrick’s Day at The Westwood Pub: The Westwood Pub knows how to party and St Patrick’s Day is no different! They’ll be pouring green beer all day, featuring great food and drink specials, and giving away swag and prizes.
10. St Patrick’s Day Celebrations: The dance floor at Heartbreakers will be packed with Audio Union playing live all night long. There will be door prizes, costume prizes, and drink specials. Get your tickets at Alfredo’s Liquor Store.
11. St Patrick’s Day at Copper Pig BBQ: Come to the Copper Pig for a fun night filled with Irish inspired food, drink, and music. Live music will be performed by the Royal Canadian Legion Pipe Band and The Statistics. No tickets. No cover. Just a great night of food and friends.
12. St Patrick’s Party at Sonar: Sonar will be serving up green beer, cheap drink specials, and delicious food. Dance to music from two different DJs on separate floors. Come dressed in your best green costume for your chance to win a prize. Tickets are $10 at the door.
13. St Patrick's Day at CrossRoads Brewing: Celebrate CrossRoads' first anniversary and St Patrick's Day all at once! Their enclosed heated patio will be open, live music starts at 3pm, new beers will be on tap, and there will be special St Patrick's Day Casks.
14. St Patrick's Day at Nancy O's: There will be plenty of Guinness flowing at Nancy O's, complimented by a special Irish Food Menu, including Fish n' Chips. No cover.
Visit tourismpg.com/events/st-patty's-day to learn more details (like times) about all these events.
No matter what you get up to this St Patty's day weekend, we hope you have lots of fun and stay safe!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and some celebrations are starting this weekend!
Keep reading to learn about four Valentine’s Day celebrations happening this weekend and three happening on Valentine’s Day.
Happening this weekend:
Happening on Valentine’s Day:
Father's Day is quickly approaching and it's a great time to show your dad how much you appreciate him, below are a few unique ideas that you can only do in Prince George:
1. Visit the 43rd Annual Show n’ Shine in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park from 10am – 4pm. This signature features hundreds of vehicles of all kinds, including classics, hot rods, motorcycles, exotic cars, and even occasional big trucks. This is the largest collection of exhibition-grade vehicles in Prince George. Last year’s event had the largest display ever, with 389 vehicles showcased on the lawn. There will also be music, vendors, demonstrations, information booths, and more.
2. Treat your dad to delicious food:
Fore Bistro & Patio is having a special brunch featuring a delicious menu, including fresh smoked brisket, maple smoked bacon, crepes with flambéed fruit, beef ribs, Cajun chicken and more! Seating times are 10am and 11:30am. There will also be a putting challenge and every Hole In One or child will win a prize.
Call for reservations (250-596-5400).
Visit Northern Lights Estate Winery for a Father’s Day picnic! They are offering complimentary wine tasting for Dad and lawn games. Frozen Paddle Ice Cream and Picnic Packages are available for purchase (or bring your own food and enjoy their wine).
3. Go fishing: Visit your favourite fishing spot together, or borrow our rods and tackle and visit a new place. Make a splash when you give him a gift by signing him up for a fly-fishing experience with Northern Outback Adventures. They offer everything from a heli-fishing adventure, to a day of trout fishing in the Prince George area (lunch included), or a casting lesson on either a single hand or spey casting on a double hand rod. Call 250-640-7699 for more information.
Photo Credit: Northern Outback Adventures
Camping season is nearly upon us and we are eager to spend days and nights outside with family and friends in the wilderness that surrounds Prince George. Below are five camping tips that we encourage all travellers to keep in mind. Read to the end to learn about three of our favourite campfire foods!
1. Plan ahead: We strongly recommend making campsite reservations whenever you'll be arriving at a new campground on a weekend. Most locals take advantage of the weekend and set up camp Friday afternoon and come home Sunday afternoon. If you're travelling during the weekend, call ahead or visit Discover Camping to make reservations at Provincial Parks. If you can't make reservations, try to arrive at your campground of choice in the early afternoon on a weekend to better your chances of getting a spot.
2. Check DriveBC.ca: DriveBC.ca is a website maintained by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. Their interactive web map will tell you about accidents, road closures, road conditions (especially important for winter travel) and construction. Even if delays are unavoidable, it's best to be aware of them.
3. Prepare for weather: Summer days in the Prince George area average around 22°C (72°F), but evening and morning can be quite cool. Pack an extra sweatshirt or jacket for those early morning walks or evenings around the campfire.
4. Set up camp: Set up your camp with your tent/trailer a safe distance away from where your fire will be. BC Parks recommends a minimum of 15 feet (4.5m) between the fire and any tent walls, hanging branches or surrounding bush. If you are tenting, make sure you store any food or fragrant items (toothpaste, deodorant, etc) in your vehicle, a bear cache, or bear hang.
5. Pack delicious food: For a leisurely camping trip, meals around the campfire can be the highlight of the day. We have three things we love cooking over the fire: bacon, bannock, and tinfoil dinner. Gather your friends or family around the campfire in the morning, and cook bacon in a cast iron pan. As it finishes, drain excess grease, put it on a plate, and pass it around the fire. It may take a while, but it is an incredible way to wake up and spend the morning outside.
Bannock is a basic dough that can be baked, fried, or roasted over the fire. We prefer our recipe to include flour, baking powder, milk and vegetable oil. Bannock can be prepared a few days in advance and refrigerated until you need it. To cook, wrap it around a thick stick and roast over the fire, hot dog-style. You’ll know it’s done when the outside is golden brown and you can easily pull it off the stick. We recommend slathering the inside with butter and cinnamon sugar, jam, or hotdog fixings (with a cooked hotdog put inside). If you don’t feel like making bannock from scratch, you can buy pre-made biscuit or bread dough.
Tinfoil dinner is the casserole of campfire cooking. Each person takes diced potatoes, ground beef, frozen or raw vegetables, seasonings and type of sauce or liquid (ketchup, worcestershire sauce, or beef broth) and mixes it all together into a sheet of tinfoil. Carefully fold the tinfoil into a roll and add a second layer of tinfoil to prevent burning. We recommend putting in more liquid then you think you need so that your food steams and doesn’t burn. Put the tinfoil packages near the coals of the fire to let it cook. After 10 minutes or so, carefully flip your package over using sticks or long tongs (be careful not to puncture the tinfoil), and let it cook for another 10ish minutes.
If you have any other questions about camping in northern British Columbia, feel free to contact the Prince George Visitor Centre (250-562-3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org). Or visit the BC Parks website to learn more about all of BC's provincial parks: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/.
We're happy that St Patty's Day is on a Friday this year, so we an truly get into the festive spirit!
Here are five restaurants/pubs that are doing something special to honour St. Patrick:
Thirsty Moose Pub: This event is sponsored by Cariboo Brewing and organized by NUGSS and the UNBC Men's Soccer team, so you know it's going to be a phenomenal night! DJ Jimi Smyth will be spinning some great tunes to keep the party lively.
Tickets are $10 to start and will go up to $20 just before Friday, get your tickets at the UNBC Wintergarden, Thirsty Moose Pub and NUGSS office.
The Westwood Pub: Green beer, specials on Guinness and Jameson, fantastic food, mega SWAG prizes, giveaways (including a Guinness beer fridge), live DJ, dancing, and all the other shenanigans you would hope for on St Patty's Day.
Nancy O's: Looking for elevated Irish food with an incredible beer selection for St Patrick's Day? Look no further than Nancy O's, they'll be serving up Kilkenny Battered Fish n' Chips and Duck and Wild Boar Guinness Pot Pie, among other special features.
Copper Pig BBQ House: These folks are doing something a little different by hosting a St Patrick's Day Communal Lunch. Buy a ticket, pull up a seat at their Social Table and enjoy various platters, boards, and bowls of local lamb stew, in-house cured corned beef and local beef ribs. This will also be your opportunity to taste a special casking of CrossRoad's Willamette Stout! Tickets are $18 each, buy yours fast because there are only 16 seats at the Social Table!
Fore Bistro & Patio: Do you have the luck of the Irish? Head over to Fore Bistro for your chance to win a staycation valued at $500. The staycation includes one night in the Jr Suite at Prestige Treasure Cove Hotel, $50 free play for the casino, 2 tickets to a comedy show at the Treasure Cove and a $50 GC to Fore. You can also buy 50/50 tickets with proceeds going to the BCSPCA. Rick Stavely will be performing live and 2Crazi will be handing out giveaways throughout the night. $5 cover.
We recently had the opportunity to host three social media influencers from Vancouver, Edmonton, and Seattle in our fair town for a brief 48 hours. We crafted an itinerary with the goal of showcasing some of our city's finest attractions while promoting four major summer events.
Read on to learn about how our guests experienced:
Our guests arrived at 12:05pm on a Pacific Coastal Airlines flight from Victoria and we hoped they would be ready for a jam-packed two days with us!
After checking into the Prestige Treasure Cove Hotel we brought them for a late lunch to Nancy O's -a local favourite restaurant in downtown Prince George. There we debated what dish to order and what beer would best accompany it (did you know that Nancy O's has over 60 beers from around the world?).
Continuing on with our beer theme we headed over to Pacific Western Brewing (PWB) on the shores of the Nechako River where Matt lead us on a tour of the facilities and we learned some fun facts about our local brewery, such as:
Next we travelled downstream to visit BC's northern-most winery: Northern Lights Estate Winery. There we had another delightful tour lead by Doug, an operating partner and developer for the winery. We toured through the cellar and the orchards. We also learned how the winery and orchards are strategically placed on the banks of the Nechako River, at the base of the iconic cutbanks, to allow for a slightly lengthened growing season. Doug told us how the orchard's location extends the growing season, but you'll have to go for a tour and find out yourself!
The best part about these two tours was talking with Matt and Doug and learning from them. As a lifelong resident of Prince George I have known some of the facts of the brewery and winery's history, but I never knew why certain choices were made.
After the winery we took our guests to Cimo Mediterranean Grill and everyone enjoyed a relaxing evening with delicious food, an array of wine and excellent service.
Can you believe we did all this in less than ten hours?
Thursday dawned with a beautiful spring sun shining in clear blue skies. We were thankful that the weather was so perfectly suited for some time on the water. Our bloggers' first activity was a paddle down the Nechako River with members from the Two Rivers Canoe Club. This excursion was so appealing that even our CEO, Erica, brought her canoe and father-in-law along for the ride!
While most of our group was travelling down the Nechako waterway in good company, our food blogger, Traca, was visiting Garrett at Nancy O's Restaurant. Not only was it a unique experience to be in a closed pub at 10am with the cooks making gentle clunks and clinks in the kitchen, but I also got to be a fly on the wall while Traca and Garrett conversed.
Listening to Garrett detail their vision for Nancy O's and their inspiration for creating such a unique and welcoming atmosphere increased my admiration for them even more. I learned that Irish pubs were a significant influence in the design of the restaurant. I learned that family ties and relationships are vital to their business. I learned that they value atmosphere and hospitality as highly as they value their food (and we all know how much their love their food).
Most of all, Garrett reaffirmed what I had sensed in the past: that Nancy O's want to be an integral part of Downtown Prince George. They desire to increase our vibrancy as a city and they want to be responsible in the way they source their food. They want to be a welcoming place where talent (musical and culinary) can be appreciated. They want to help other restaurants and businesses flourish.
I learned I want to become a regular of theirs and be a part of their endeavours and experience it all first hand.
Next, we visited The Exploration Place and Christian toured us around and taught us about Prince George's dinosaurs, Prince George's history, the 2015 Canada Winter Games (hosted by Prince George), the Iron Jock, and Cream (their snake ambassador).
Even though I am a local and have lived in Prince George my entire life, I can honestly say that I learn something new (and interesting) each and every time I visit the Exploration Place! I love that the staff have a wealth of fascinating information to share and that they are so passionate about their work.
Next we went to Ms Lorea's School of Esthetics and Nail Technology. There we had the exceptionally talented Melissa transform two of our guests into terrifying zombies! In just two hours she performed her magic and it was incredible to watch!
We cannot express our thanks enough to Melissa, Dee, and everyone at Ms Lorea's; without them this certainly would not have happened. Thank-you!
Our busy day continued with chocolate making at Ohh... Chocolat Cafe where we indulged in some fine Belgian chocolate and made some unique creations. Caroline shared some stories with us about her business, and what inspired her to become a Master Chocolatier. It was interesting to hear Caroline's perspective of the 2015 Winter Games because I never knew about all the legwork and research they had done in advance. They worked hard and their preparation and insight paid off. We're so happy that they were able to showcase their product to the nation last February!
Later that night we visited Two Rivers Gallery and their 2RG MakerLab that is held every Thursday night. I've only been to MakerLab a handful of times and every single visit I'm astonished at how welcoming and friendly everyone is and the incredible creativity that overflows! In case you don't know, MakerLab takes place upstairs in Two Rivers Gallery on Thursday nights. Makers are welcome to use the available equipment, including the 3D printer, laser cutter, sewing machines, woodworking equipment and much more. In addition, the tables are ginormous and easy to work at and stools are abundant.
We ended this busy and educational day by unwinding at Twisted Cork to the soft crooning of Britt AM at Twisted Cork. I think we were all so tired that not many pictures were taken. I did manage to snap this one of the spread of tapas that we all shared before everyone dug in!
Friday morning we let our guests sleep in and took them on a meandering tour of Prince George before dropping them off at the airport. We visited the University of Northern British Columbia and Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park.
Hosting our three out of town social media influencers was an excellent and memorable experience for all involved. Our guests gathered quality content to share through their networks, they increased traffic to our social media (especially Twitter) and they expressed pleasant surprise at how much Prince George has to offer.
I also enjoyed touring our guests around Prince George in the 48 hours that turned out to be a blur. I gained a new appreciation for all the passionate people who have chosen to grow roots in this place and share their creativity and talents with our residents and visitors. I was able to participate in or witness conversations that ran deeper than normal. I heard our visitors ask questions I had never considered; this resulted in me gaining a refreshed perspective on our town and the array of high quality amenities that we are able to offer. Places that I had taken for granted because I grew up visiting them drew compliments and admiration from the three bloggers. People I had met in the past demonstrated incredible hospitality and kindness to our guests. This, and many other factors, made me proud to show off the place I call home and eager to share my experience with other residents.
You’re hungry. You need a drink. You’re going out for dinner or lunch. But it’s gorgeous outside and the thought of sitting in an air-conditioned restaurant makes your heart sink. No worries –Prince George has a great offering of fantastic patios to choose from, for whatever you’re craving and whichever part of town you’re in. It was tough work, but I took the liberty of indulging myself at the best of them to let you know which are the best of the best.
Cimo Mediterranean Grill
Hands down, Cimo Mediterranean Grill is my favourite restaurant in Prince George. And the fact that they have a stellar patio in the summer is icing on the cake. Located downtown PG along Victoria street, they have pasta to die for, great sandwiches, delicious coffee and a fantastic wine selection. When it comes to lunch or dinner, I usually go intending to try something new, but at the last minute cannot resist my favorite: the angel hair pasta. It seems simple with baby shrimp, roma tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil but it’s seriously the best, and you’ll love it… again and again and again. Grab a spot in the sun on the cozy patio, start with the tapas platter and a flight of wine and you’ll be beyond satisfied when you leave! The service is true class all the way too.
The Keg is the Keg in any BC city from what I’ve seen – you know you’re always in for a good steak, or my favorite, king crab legs – but their patio in downtown Prince George is a gorgeous escape from the hustle of George Street, and the fact that it’s a short trip from where I work makes it a great spot for an after-work glass of sangria on a sunny day. The patio here is quite unique, with comfy cushioned seating and a pretty water wall at one end. I usually order an appy or two with my red wine sangria and couldn’t ask for more.
Similar to the Keg, you’re in for a consistent meal at our PG Earls, but many locals will tell you that this patio is the best in our city. Situated in the middle of town, along Highway 97, their patio is definitely one of the biggest in town and has canopies for the summer sun and heaters for the evening cool. When I went recently, I ordered the fish tacos with an amazing pomegranate vanilla mojito, which along with the palm tree décor, made me feel as if I were almost in the tropics. This patio is definitely great for lounging with friends during the afternoon, meeting for lunch or fueling up for a night on the town. The servers are beyond friendly here too!
The Alpine Pub & Grill
At the north end of town, in a quiet, laidback area called “The Hart” – a happy spot for me, given this is where my family lived in my teen years – resides the Alpine Pub & Grill, on the corner of Kelly Road south and Vellencher Road. My visit here for this post was my first time on the patio and I was impressed with the simple, chill feeling of the place. As you may have guessed, the pub looks like a Swiss alpine style house and the patio is surrounded by trees and bushes, and is very quiet. The food is decent – your usual pub fare is available, with good daily specials – and the service is friendly. I had the turkey clubhouse, which was tastier than most I’ve had. This is a true “locals” pub with a friendly spirit.
I wanted to highlight the best places for a full meal, complimented with adult bevvies, but if lighter fare, coffee or dessert is your pleasure, there are a few great places worth mentioning:
Originally written for the HelloBC blog.
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