As part of the first ever Heritage Week in the Merritt, the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives will be hosting an open house on Feb. 21 — and locals are invited to dress for the occasion.

The theme of this year’s Heritage Week is “The Tie That Binds,” explained Craig Grey, acting secretary for the local museum. Anyone who attends the open house adorned with their finest necktie will receive a complementary cookbook, while the owner of the most unusual tie will receive an extra prize.

Celebrating Heritage Week offers Merrittonians a chance to learn more about the extensive history of the region, said Grey.

“Where can you go that has heritage going back to the start of B.C.? Quite literally, we fed the gold rush. It was the cattle from this valley that fed the miners in Barkerville. Our history goes back so far,” said Grey.

The open house runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives on Feb. 21.