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Vernon Winter Carnival ready to rock your socks off

Hot air balloons—like these ones landing by Swan Lake in February 2013—are a staple of the Vernon Winter Carnival.
February 04, 2015 - 4:29 PM

VERNON - This year’s Vernon Winter Carnival is ready to rock and roll with only a couple last minute changes due to the weather.

The event kicks off Feb. 6 and runs until Feb. 15. A recent warning about thin ice on Swan Lake, an area where the carnival's hot air balloon events often take place, has led to some minor changes. Executive director Diana Williamson says the location of the hot air balloon fiesta events—including the flag grab—will be changed to keep people away from Swan Lake. An update will be on the carnival website tomorrow morning, Feb. 5, with more information about where the event will be held.

Warming temperatures have also created soft terrain in Polson Park, where the balloon glow is set to take place. There's a possibility the event will be impacted, but Williamson says they are doing everything possible to run the event in its usual location, including working with parks and recreation to ensure the track is solid enough for the balloon vehicles to drive over.

This year’s theme is the Carnival of Rock and Roll, and Williamson says we can expect some terrific costumes.

“I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of Elvises, Kiss, and poodle skirts,” Williamson says. “The costumes and peoples’ imaginations are amazing.”

In addition to the popular hot air balloon events, the snow sculpture competition at Silver Star and the parade are also on the lineup again this year.

“We have a really busy ten days,” Williamson says.

A number of individual events were inspired by this year’s theme, including the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fever dance party, Rock the Slows and Let the Good Times Roll at the Lake City Casino, and the Rock and Roll Instruments Maker Fair and Performance.

A full listing of events can be found on the Winter Carnival website.

It’s a particularly special year because the carnival’s mascot, jopo, is turning 50.

“We’re having a birthday party for him,” Williamson says. “We’ll learn trivia about jopo over the years and have birthday cake. Everyone is welcome to come.”

One trivia example is that jopo is, and has always been, spelled with a lower case j, never a capital, Williamson says.

The birthday bash will be held Monday, Feb. 9 at the Halina Centre from 4-7 p.m.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

—This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 4 to include information about event changes due to melting ice on Swan Lake.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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