For some sizzling fun in the BC sun, check out these great Summer Festivals in the Thompson-Okanagan!
Stretching to cover most of the central interior of British Columbia, the Thompson-Okanagan region has some lovely spots to spend a summer vacation. And to sweeten the deal, the region also plays host to an array of vibrant family-friendly festivals throughout the summer. We’ll never put winter festivals down, but everybody knows, summer festival season is where it’s at, and these are some of our favourites:
Fat Cat Children’s Festival Kelowna On June 7 & 8, 2019, the Power of Play gets celebrated in a big way in Kelowna. Families will love the opportunities to move their bodies and use their brains in fun, creative ways. Dress up, take a dance workshop, visit with members of the Okanagan Nation community to learn about sharing and play. Saturday morning hosts a parade, where everyone is encouraged to take part. Save money by buying early bird tickets before May 15th, but don’t worry if you miss out. Tickets are also available at the gate for $20 for a family pass.
Sunshine Festival Vernon On June 15th, 2019, six downtown blocks on 30th Avenue will be closed off to vehicle traffic for the day to make way for the Sunshine Festival. It’s the largest street party held in the Okanagan community and features vendors and sidewalk sales, street performers, and a mainstage for the (yet to be announced) headline performers. Restaurant patios are open, and food trucks will be serving snacks and treats. Don’t miss the KidsZone, with a bouncy house, crafts and activities, and celebratory face-painting.
Canada Day If you find yourself in the Thompson-Okanagan region on Canada Day (July 1st) consider yourself lucky. There is no end of big and small celebrations to ring in another year of Confederation with most communities hosting an event. Musical entertainment and a fireworks show are de rigueur for the party. Some of our favourites are the concerts and shows all weekend during Canada Day Weekend in Sun Peaks, the carnival vibe and parade at Westside Daze in West Kelowna, and celebrating all things cherry at the Cherry Fiesta in Osoyoos.
Sun Peaks Family Weeks Held weekdays from mid-July to mid-August in the charming little village of Sun Peaks, Family Weeks are a great chance to discover the ski resort during the off-season. Take part in (mostly free!) activities like guided nature walks, cookie decorating, horseback rides, open-air concerts and plays in the town square, and more.
Project X Kamloops This family-friendly festival gives attendees the chance to enjoy the theatre al fresco at King Charles Park. Sit in the shade (important in the Kamloops heat) and enjoy silly renditions of beloved family classics. Having the theatre in the park means you can take your kids to the playground during the intermission, or for a splash in the wading pool after it is done! In 2019 the plays will be Cinderella—the musical, and a puppet show Jack and the Beanstalk. It runs from July 15 to August 3rd.
Kamloops International Buskers Festival 2019 marks the second year the International Buskers Festival will be held in Riverside Park in Kamloops. As the name implies, buskers from around the world congregate to showcase their strength and acrobatic skill, comedic chops, or feats of magic for tips from the audience. Wander from stage to stage to discover something new and enchanting or check the schedule online to see when your favourite performers will be on-stage. In 2019, the festival runs from July 25-28th.
Penticton Peach Festival Word to the wise if you are visiting Penticton during Peachfest…it is a busy time and you will definitely need to book your accommodations well in advance. But it’s busy for a reason: the word is out that “Peachfest” is a rocking good time. The musical entertainment (this year’s headliner is Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts,) carnival games and midway rides, vendors, food trucks are big draws for the pretty town between Okanagan and Skaha Lakes. The free family festival runs from August 7-11, 2019.