July 22, 2015 - 8:00 PM
KELOWNA – Canada’s hottest beach party, an annual music and sports festival that continues to grow every year, is back in City Park again this weekend.
Monster Energy’s Center of Gravity is a 100 per cent local event started by Kelowna native Scott Emslie eight years ago.
Since that time it has grown to attract tens of thousands of music and extreme sports enthusiasts every year. This year Emslie expects more than 20,000 people through the gates between Friday and Sunday.
There will be five sports zones, including a Water Zone with wake boarding and wake skating, an Urban Zone with skateboarding and BMX, beach volleyball and a Hoop Zone with four-on-four basketball.
Emslie says the Dirt Zone has been modified this year and will instead be called the Moto Zone. There will be freestyle motocross as well as a new exhibition of a famous X Games athlete who will be performing stunts on a modified snowmobile.
“I’m really looking forward to Brett Turcotte,” Emslie says. “It’s going to be pretty crazy.”
Also new this year is an interactive Adrenaline Zone where festival-goers can try out some the newest extreme sports like flyboarding and Zorb soccer.
Flyboarding is a new sport where you are attached to a board that takes water from a jet ski and shoots it out of the bottom of a board, propelling the user into the air.
“We have a couple pros coming to do demos but festival-goers can try that out too.”
Zorb soccer is a team activity where groups of three to five players sign up and play full contact soccer while safely encased in a large, inflatable plastic bubble.
“It’s a blast,” Emslie says. “You can still run and kick the ball but it’s full contact.”
The music lineup has also grown over the last year.
“We have more artists than we’ve ever had,” he says. “We’ve extended mainstage so we’re doing around two extra hours of programming each day and we have a number of headliners.”
Performers include Flo Rida, Diplo, Knife Party, Erica Dee, Tre Funk, Emotionz, The Funk Hunters, Delhi 2 Dublin, Kytami, SkiiTour and others.
There will also be an Exhibitors Village with booths and food vendors as well as activities for kids.
"There’s a lot for families to do,” Emslie says.
The Friday to Sunday event is approximately 70 per cent sold out so tickets are still available at the COG website and at the gate.
Tickets are $99.95 for a single day or $209.95 for the full event. Kids under 12 are half price and it’s free for kids under five.
Visit the Center of Gravity website for the full schedule of events and performances.
Residents and visitors attending Center of Gravity are encouraged to use public transit to enjoy the festivities downtown. Shuttle buses are also available to ticketholders.
Parking will be restricted on Abbott Street between Highway 97 and Park Avenue, west of Water Street to the lake, as well as Knox Crescent and all of Beach Avenue starting Thursday, July 23, until Monday, July 27.
On-street parking will be available to valid resident and visitor permit holders only.
Public parking is available at various parking lots downtown, including Chapman Parkade on Lawrence Avenue and the Library Parkade on Ellis Street. However, City Park parking lot will be closed from Wednesday, July 22, to Monday, July 27.
Kelowna RCMP are wishing festival-goers well but are reminding them that lawlessness and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated. They also want participants to make sure they stay hydrated, drink responsibly and avoid drugs. Cpl. Joe Duncan says there will be enhanced policing at the event as well as around the city during the entire weekend.
"Lawlessness and criminal behaviour are not acceptable... and will not be tolerated," he says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015