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(UPDATE: April 1 @ noon) - Before anyone rips off their pants and heads to Mushroom Beach baring all on this beautiful spring day, we must come clean.
As most figured out on their own, our story about Mushroom Beach becoming an official nude beach was an April Fool's Day joke.
To anyone who was angry at the story, or is sad that it's not true, we're very sorry for fibbing, but we do love getting into the April Fool's Day spirit once a year.
There is no truth to this story and we suspect Mushroom Beach's proximity to houses, the bridge and the city's downtown core will keep it from ever becoming a nude beach.
Despite that, we hope you enjoyed reading the story as much as we enjoyed writing it and we look forward to getting creative again in 365 days.
(Original story: April 1 @ 6 a.m.) - A popular Kelowna beach will soon be giving Vancouver’s Wreck Beach a run for the best spot in British Columbia to bare all.
Mushroom Beach, located immediately south of the William R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna, will become an official nude beach this summer.
There’s been plenty of discussion over recent years on whether partial nudity was permissible at the beach, but this latest announcement leaves no room for debate.
“Have you been to Europe? Everyone’s naked at the beach there and those people are the coolest. If only we could drink Heinekens at the beach too, that’s probably our next battle,” said Hugh Jass, a Kelowna resident who lobbied hard for the change.
“Also, not everyone can afford clothes, so this way we know that no one will be excluded when there’s talk of spending a sunny day by the water.”
There were lots of potential issues to get around before making the designation official, including the fact that the beach is within sight of many lakefront properties.
In the end, however, city officials deemed that full nudity on display at Mushroom Beach wouldn’t be a problem for those homes.
“I’m pretty sure those are all speculation tax homes,” said Kelowna city councillor Gordon Bernard. “Nobody actually lives there.”
This isn’t the first time Mushroom Beach, officially known as the Lake Avenue beach access, has seen a major change in recent years.
It became a dog beach in 2017, which has been a popular move, and that won’t change with this news.
Mushroom Beach will be both an official dog beach and an official nude beach, the only of its kind in Canada.
It’s been tried elsewhere, including a disastrous pilot project in Barrie, Ont., but the city scrapped the idea after just one day.
Details on why the project was so quickly terminated were never talked about publicly, but rumours quickly surfaced about an incident between a beach patron and a shih tzu named Buster.
Despite the issues in Ontario, Bernard and the rest of Kelowna City Council have shown a confidence in the new look Mushroom Beach being a winner for the city’s tourism.