Looking to get festive? Then you should consider attending Kelowna’s newest Christmas-themed event.
Okanagan ChristmasFest launched its inaugural year on Friday night, and it is so adorably festive that even the grumpiest of grinches are no match against its holiday charm.
Organized by the team of Roseanne Ting-Mak Brown and Sylvia Hermans, the unique event brings a traditional, European holiday market right to downtown Kelowna. And it is in support of a worthy cause — the Central Okanagan Food Bank.
According to Ting-Mak Brown, the duo wanted to bring the event to life for a couple of reasons.
“We wanted something that was outdoors because we are such an outdoor community generally,” said Ting-Mak Brown.
“Also, we were looking for another way to give back and this is the time of year when the shortage of food is really noticeable, so being able to support them and help the families was a big reason.”
And they are doing just that. In addition to donating the net profits from the $5 admission, you can also find numerous collection boxes for non-perishable food items at the event.
Nestled comfortably on the front lawn of the Rotary Centre for the Arts lays a quaint holiday market equipped with mini European inspired huts that house various local vendors.
From Motherlove Kombucha and High Mountain Farms to De Bloomist Flower Design, Meadow Vista Winery and Okanagan Spirits, along with multiple jewelry and clothing artisans — the market acts as a great spot to find some last minute gifts or stocking stuffers.
Cozy up by the fire with hot apple cider, chow down on sweet crepes or bratwurst, or sing along with the carollers and live music — Not only is the market a great place to shop, but it's a great place to just hang out.
If you get chilly, head indoors to check out the stunning Christmas Tree Walk, where local businesses have decorated and donated stunning trees for attendees to gaze upon and vote for their favourites.
If you fall in love, the trees are set to be auctioned off at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at the Kanata Hotel & Conference Centre, with funds once again going to support the food bank.
Though only in its first year, Ting-Mak Brown has high hopes for her humble market, wishing it may someday reach a level similar to that of Vancouver’s Christmas Market.
“You know you have a vision so to see it come through is just amazing. We are really hoping our community wants to come out and enjoy the Christmas spirit,” said Ting-Mak Brown
“It’s all about enjoying the treats and the smells, and the tastes and the sounds of Christmas,” she says.
The Okanagan ChristmasFest ramps up at 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
You may even see Santa himself throughout the weekend, as he is expected to make a visit or two— so don’t miss out on Kelowna’s newest festive event!