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One more sleep until Vernon Winter Carnival

The Vernon Winter Carnival Parade.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Vernon Winter Carnival
February 06, 2020 - 2:00 PM

With the city covered in a thick layer of snow, the weather couldn't be more fitting as the Vernon Winter Carnival gets ready to open.

Starting tomorrow, Feb. 7, the Vernon Winter Carnival is celebrating the festival's 60th year with the theme Remembers the 60's. In celebration, Winter Carnival is bringing back its iconic ice palace.

And 60 years after the first carnival floats passed through downtown Vernon in its inaugural parade, the festival staple is just as popular.

Vernon Winter Carnival executive director Vicki Proulx said this year's parade features 89 different entries, just four short of the 93 floats that took place in 1961.

"There are thousands of people that come out for (the parade)," Proulx said. "No matter what the weather the streets are always jam-packed, it can be snowing, it can -15 C, it could be sunny, it could be raining, people come out every year."

Proulx won't let it slip whose leading the parade saying, "you'll have to come and find out," but she does know the reunion of Vernon Girls Trumpet Band alumni is sure to impress.

"The Trumpet Band was very very involved with carnival for many many years," she said. "I think there's a lot of emotions... some of those ladies haven't picked up an instrument in 40 years and now they're going to be marching. It's going to be really exciting."

Brian Langner gets the credit for organizing the parade, which Proulx says is no easy feat.

"It's a huge job to make sure there's enough space between animals and floats and music and non-musical entries," she said.

With large areas of downtown closed to traffic between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 8, and the parade route closed to vehicles from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proulx says it pays to be organized.

"Don't hesitate, come early, get a good spot," she said.

Unsurprisingly the festival director hasn't had a chance to check the weather forecast.

"We're hoping it's beautiful and sunny, but when it snows it's also magical... because it is a winter festival and we're celebrating winter in our region and how we have this beautiful winter playground."

Along the parade, the Vernon Winter Carnival features dozens of events to suit all ages and price points.

The Winter Carnival Parade on Saturday, Feb. 8, starts at the intersection of 41 Avenue and 27 Street and makes its way south down 27 Street to 30 Avenue, before heading west through downtown Vernon and then north at 31 Street, before coming to an end at 39 Avenue.

The staging area for the parade is 27 Street, between 39 Avenue and 43 Avenue and some surrounding streets and will close to traffic from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The 60th Vernon Winter Carnival starts Feb. 7 and runs until Feb. 16. For more information and a full list of events go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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