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SOUND THE ALARM, we’re just over a week away from the 23rd annual “Celebrate Canada Day – Kelowna” festival.
After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, Festivals Kelowna is excited to announce their return with a full day of festivities for the entire family on July 1.
In years past, the city has welcomed over 60,000 friends, visitors and residents to celebrate Canadian pride throughout various locations in Kelowna.
The annual celebration will be returning to Waterfront Park, Prospera Place, Stuart Park, and Kelowna’s Cultural District on Friday, July 1st with activities starting at 11:00 am and running until the fireworks display at 10 pm.
"Wow. After two years of being unable to hold this event, it certainly has been a whirlwind of activity getting ready,” confirms Renata Mills, Executive Director of Festivals Kelowna.
“I’ve heard from tons of people that they are excited about a return to fun, festivals, and gathering with their friends and family, so our goal is to make sure the event offers something for everyone in our community, of all ages and interests. As ever, residents can look forward to seeing many of their favourite activities alongside new ones.”
Kelowna’s one-day party will include attractions such as live music on five outdoor stages, the return of the Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club, more than 20 different drop-in activities and games including a chick-hatching station and taking a picture with a real-life mermaid, the annual “Mini-Regatta” hosted by the Kelowna Model Sailboat Association, more than 25 artisan booths at the “Made in Canada Marketplace”, 19 unique small businesses in the “Canada Day Bazaar”, 15 different community groups sharing info about the great work they do for our city, as well as a return of the perfect summertime treat, fresh, cold watermelon courtesy of Save-On-Foods.
Wowza, that’s a mouthful- but it doesn’t stop there.
In addition to new performing artists on multiple stages, other new attractions this year include a display by the BC Dragoons in Stuart Park, a professional chainsaw artist carving a work of art from a log over the course of the day on Tugboat Beach, and “Drag Queen Storytime with Miss Frieda Whales” in the Century 21 Kids Zone.
With all the buzz behind Friday’s event, kick the day off at Prospera Place for the official ceremonies at 12:30 pm with the popular “Happy Birthday Canada” cake.
Additional Canada Day-themed activities in nearby Cultural District venues include the Kelowna Art Gallery which will offer a variety of drop-in, Canadiana themed craft activities from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, as well as free admission to the Gallery where guests can experience “From Warhol to Banksy”, the pop-art exploration of two, world-famous artists.
While the Celebrate Canada Day – Kelowna festival is free to attend, donations are welcome and help support the costs of presenting this community celebration.
Volunteers with donation buckets will be located at all entrances to Prospera Place and Waterfront Park, and all festival information booths.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Canada Day without them, the much anticipated “Canada Day Fireworks presented by the City of Kelowna, Shoreline Pile Driving, and Festivals Kelowna” will be shot over Tugboat Bay starting at 10 pm.
The complete schedule for the jam-packed today can be found below, or if you’re looking for more information head to the Festivals Kelowna website here.
10:00 am-4:00 pm From Warhol to Banksy – pop art exhibition + family art activities (Kelowna Art Gallery)
10:00 am-12:30 pm Model Sailboat Association Regatta (waterway near Rotary Marshes)
11:00 am-12:00 pm Kelowna Dog Agility Club (West end of Pioneer Gardens)
11:00 am-3:00 pm BC Dragoons Display (Jim Stuart Park)
11:00 am-4:00 pm Community Groups Showcase (grass area to right of Harmony Bridge)
11:00 am-4:00 pm Century 21 Kids Zone (Pioneer Gardens)
11:00 am-4:00 pm Kiwanis Family Stage (Pioneer Gardens) supported by New Country 100.7
11:00 am-6:00 pm Made in Canada Marketplace (Rhapsody Plaza by the Dolphins)
11:00 am-9:00 pm Canada Day Bazaar (grass hill near Concession Plaza)
11:00 am-10:00 pm Taste of Canada Food Fair (Tugboat Beach)
12:00 pm-all gone Watermelon in the Park courtesy of Save-On Foods (West side of Rhapsody Plaza)
12:00 pm-5:00 pm Tyler Welfing, chainsaw wood carving (South end of Tugboat Beach)
12:00 pm-9:50 pm TD Beach Stage supported by K96.3FM (North end of Tugboat Beach)
12:30 pm-1:00 pm Drag Queen Storytime with Miss Freida Whales (Pioneer Gardens)
12:30 pm-1:30 pm Kelowna Dog Agility Club (West end of Pioneer Gardens)
12:30 pm-1:00 pm Official Canada Day Ceremonies (Prospera Place)
12:30 pm-9:30 pm Parks Alive! Power Stage (Island Stage)
1:00 pm-1:30 pm “Happy Birthday Canada” cake courtesy of Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty (Prospera Place)
1:30 pm-2:00 pm Drag Queen Storytime with Miss Freida Whales (Pioneer Gardens)
2:00 pm-3:00 pm Kelowna Dog Agility Club (West end of Pioneer Gardens)
2:30 pm-3:00 pm Drag Queen Storytime with Miss Freida Whales (Pioneer Gardens)
6:00 pm-9:00 pm Telus Blues Stage (400 Block, Bernard Ave)
7:30 pm-9:45 pm Youth Stage with guest Host Miss Freida Whales (Jim Stuart Park)
10:00 pm-10:30 pm Canada Day Fireworks (Tugboat Bay)