Kelowna to get visit from massive, life-sized dinosaurs as part of festival | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna to get visit from massive, life-sized dinosaurs as part of festival

Jurassic Fest is stopping in Kelowna.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Jurassic Fest Canada

The Central Okanagan is taking a step back in time, 201.3 million years to be exact, to see large, scaly creatures that once roamed the earth.

The Jurassic Festival will be held Feb. 4 to 6 in Kelowna, featuring a life-sized array of dinosaurs in a walk-through set up.

“The phenomenal dinosaur exhibition will bring visitors a unique experience of the Jurassic tour. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and face-to-face with various gigantic moving prehistoric creatures to see their teeth, see them blink, swaying tails and hear their majestic roar,” according to the event post from Jurassic Fest Canada, which organizes the event.

READ MORE: Mammoths claimed the Thompson Okanagan as their home more than 10,000 years ago

Fossil excavation, a family dinosaur-related activities play area and jumping castles will also be on site.

Tickets will be available once the venue's location has been announced. They will be available in a limited capacity so Jurassic Fest is encouraging residents to buy theirs in advance as tickets will not be available at the door.

However, the company behind the event is not without controversy.

READ MORE: Montreal-area parents worry they have been duped by promoter of robot dinosaur show

In Montreal, it was sold by its promoter as an outdoor, week-long "mesmerizing, world-class dinosaur exhibition featuring over 20 life-size animatronic, robotic dinosaurs," according to a report by The Canadian Press. But less than a week after a parent bought the non-refundable tickets on July 22, the Australian company promoting the event announced the venue that was to hold the show was pulling out, leaving parents concerned the show was a scam.

Australian media have reported on accusations the company had allegedly falsely advertised dinosaur-themed and other events in that country since 2019.

However, David Huni, the South African promoter of The Dino Expo, the organizer of the Canadian shows, told The Canadian Press at that time parents had nothing to worry about. The rumours on social media that called his event a scam, he said, were part of a backhanded ploy by his competitors.

Huni told the Montreal event has since been postponed due to COVID-19 until next year, and people can access their tickets through their online account and through their email if they gave the correct address. He also said tickets are refundable for the Quebec event but most people have decided to hold on to their tickets.

The tickets were listed as non-refundable because of what called "Facebook bullies" accusing them of being a scam which resulted in too much administration for the company.

Dinosaur shows were also held in Edmonton and Calgary this year, he said.

"We have four truck loads of dinosaurs that will be in Canada for the next three to four years," he said, adding he went to university to recreate dinosaurs to size and is working with a paleontologist and artists from around the world to recreate accurate life-like figures.

He said the dinosaur exhibits were popular in South Africa and Australia but operating during the pandemic has been difficult.

"We are excited, we want to come to your city, we have seen people responding and that is what makes the dino exhibit successful," he said.

People who want more information can reach out to the company at its website here. The festival is also scheduled for Vancouver, Feb. 10 to 13. The company also has a Facebook page here.

Early bird tickets are: $15 for kids, $18 for seniors and $22 for adults if booked before Dec. 10 and $17.50 for kids, $21.50 for seniors and $26 for adults afterwards until Jan 21. Standard admission tickets are $20 for kids, $25 for seniors and $30 for adults.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

— This story was updated Nov. 5, 2021 at 10:35 a.m. to include information about fraud allegations.

— This story was updated Nov. 5, 2021 at 3:32 p.m. to include comment from David Huni.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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