CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Finding something to do on Canada Day in the Central Okanagan is easy. Choosing between all the possibilities is where it gets difficult.
Celebrate Canada Day festival in downtown Kelowna is a great place to start with a huge roster of family-oriented activities and music during the day leading up to the traditional fireworks display later that night.
This year’s festival is expected to draw at least 50,000 people and will feature events in Prospera Place, Waterfront Park, Stuart Park and Kerry Park.
Start the day at 10 a.m. with some shopping at the Canada Day Bazaar or a bite to eat the Taste of Canada food fair. Or get creative with drop-in arts and crafts and the Kelowna Art Gallery. The Kelowna City band will perform outside Prospera beginning at 10:15 a.m. or you can take in the sights at the URBA classic car show at 11 a.m. The Kids Zone and the Kiwanis Kids Stage open up at 11 a.m. in the Pioneer Gardens as does the opportunity for more shopping at the Made In Canada marketplace by The Dolphins.
You might want to make time for the official Canada Day opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m., mainly because immediately afterward they will be cutting up the official Canada Day birthday cake. It’s pretty big but don’t delay if you want a piece.
There’s lots more music beginning at noon with the opening of the Beach Stage at, where else, Tugboat Beach, featuring a variety of musical acts and culminating with a reunion performance of the Cruzeros, a long-time local favourite at 8:50 p.m. The Youth Stage at Jim Stuart Park opens at 6 p.m. and features hip-hop vocal and dance acts and ending with the Beatnikz at 9:25 p.m. The Parks Alive Power Stage takes over the Island Stage in Waterfront Park at 12:30 p.m. offering up a melange of hard rock, pop and punk and ending with a performance by Cosmic Brew at 8:30 p.m. Over at Prospera Place, the Kelowna Canada Day Society presents the free Family Pops concert in Prospera Place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Take in the Canada Day finale fireworks beginning at 10:30 p.m. and viewed best from Waterfront Park across the street from Prospera Place.
Across the lake in West Kelowna, the annual Westside Daze also marks Canada Day with an array of family fun.
It starts early with the traditional pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. along with the opening of the Family Zone. Once you’ve had your breakfast, take in the Car and Motorcyle Show and Shine opening at 10 a.m., take a Westbank Museum tour or shop the local concession stands. There’s more food at 11 a.m. at the Westbank Rotary Club barbecue and mainstage entertainment by the Silverbacks beginning at 12:45 p.m.
Canada ceremonies and a birthday-cake cutting start at 3 p.m. with the national anthem by Brooklyn Schell.
Then there’s more barbecue at the Westbank Legion on Dobbin Road from 2 to 7 p.m. and later on the evening concert series begins with a performance by the Pam Ferens Band at 7 p.m followed by a pair of tribute bands, Garth Brooks at 8 p.m. and Alan Jackson at 9.
Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair for the festivities and note times are subject to change.
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