Block Party turns Bernard Avenue into backyard festival | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Block Party turns Bernard Avenue into backyard festival

The annual Downtown Kelowna Association Mardis Gras block party is underway today.
Image Credit: Downtown Kelowna Association

KELOWNA - Thousands of people are expected to take part in what has become a tradition in downtown Kelowna over the last 26 years.

“Well the name has changed a couple of times but it’s been around for 26 years. Downtown Kelowna Association is the oldest business improvement area and we are 25 years old, so it’s older than us. It was started by the merchants,” the communications manager for the association says.

Last year’s 25th anniversary rendition of the Downtown Kelowna Block Party saw 15,000 people walk Bernard Avenue, taking in the entertainment and the assorted vendors, Ryan Watters says. He notes the event has reached a point of 'critical mass' where visitors and vendors from up and down the valley will take part.

“It’s free, which is always nice. 2012 was the first time it was called Block Party. The name incorporates so many different things. There really is a backyard feel to it where all these different people come and socialize," he says.

The 26th annual Downtown Kelowna Block Party begins 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. There will be three stages this year, the Interior Savings Kids Stage in the 500-block of Bernard Avenue, the Bell Radio Stage in the 300-block and the Westcorp Stage in Kerry Park.

The kids stage begins with Music with Marnie at 10:30 a.m. and ends with SODANCE, a dance demo troupe at 3:45 p.m. The Bell Radio Stage starts with Joshua Smith, a local folk-soul act, at 10:30 a.m. and ends with JP Maurice, a pop act from Vancouver. The Westcorp Stage begins with a dog agility show by the Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club at 10 a.m. and ends with MoMarley, a roots rock-reggae act from Saskatoon, at 3 p.m.

Over 140 vendor booths from local companies will line the streets offering deals and delicious street food.

Bernard Avenue will be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, from Richter Street to Abbott Street.

Credit: Downtown Kelowna Association

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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