Multiple Kelowna, Penticton road closures for Dream Rally Saturday
A parade of sports cars – loaded with passengers even more impressive than the luxury vehicles – will be cruising down Highway 97 from Penticton to Kelowna this weekend.
Okanagan Dream Rally will be lending out more than 240 exotic cars, along with a personal driver, to deserving youngsters for the morning.
Young co-pilots who are extra-deserving of the experience are chosen on a case-by-case basis.
One co-pilot in this year's event will be 11-year-old Thomas McGoran from Penticton. And he loves being a passenger.
“I actually teared up,” his mother Mare McHale said about finding out Thomas was selected.
“Driving is his absolute favourite thing to do. We once drove for 16 hours and the next day he asked to get right back in the car.”
When Thomas isn't in the car, he’s often asking to watch videos of driving.
“To have this opportunity is a once in a lifetime experience for him and I am bursting with excitement,” McHale said.
“We are keeping it a secret from him, so I can’t wait to see his face on Saturday.”
Thomas has complex needs which create difficult and isolating circumstances for his mother.
To know that a charity’s focus is on helping out children like McHale's makes her feel extremely grateful.
“Thomas can’t participate in many activities that his friends do. It is such a boost to feel the community’s support. The countless people putting on the Dream Rally are giving us families such a boost. It truly means the world.”
The rally is happening on July 30. The goal is to raise $500,000 for the Ronald McDonald House B.C. and Yukon.
For anybody interested in seeing the cars where they meet in downtown Kelowna, the drivers will between on Water Street between Sunset Drive and Cawston Avenue, which will be closed to regular traffic from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Water Street from Cawston Avenue to the Queensway Roundabout will have restrictions on parking and access to allow spectators to gather along the route. Local traffic will be permitted from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. but there will be a full closure from 10 to 10:45 a.m.
The Water Street Boat Launch will be closed from 6 to 10:30 a.m. but the Cook Road Boat Launch can be used instead.
The vehicles will begin departing the staging area at 10 a.m. when they take Water Street, Lawrence Avenue and Abbott Street to Highway 97.
Flaggers will be helping to control traffic.
Downtown is expected to be cleared of participating drivers by around 10:30 a.m.
The City of Kelowna’s online road report shares up-to-date info on closures.
For anybody planning on travelling south along Highway 97 Saturday morning, keep in mind that the convoy of luxury vehicles – which is expected to take 30 minutes for them to all depart – will spend approximately one hour en route to its final destination in Penticton, the Barefoot Beach Resort.
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