Downtown Kelowna light show is a go

Jerry Budnick
Jerry Budnick's Christmas light display outside his house in West Kelowna last year. Budnick has donated the lights to Kelowna's Capri Rotary Club for display in Kelowna.
— image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Alistair Waters

assistant editor

Kelowna's downtown lakeshore may be lit up with Jerry Budnick's Christmas light display this year after all.

The extravagant light display, which includes a mini moving ferris wheel, animated displays, and thousands of colourful lights, was a yuletide staple outside Budnick's Bridgeview Court home in West Kelowna's Lakeview Heights neighbourhood for 13 years.

But after dismantling it following its final display last Christmas, Budnick donated the equipment to the Capri Rotary Club in Kelonwa.

A plan to erect it on the downtown lakeshore this Christmas hit a snag earlier this year when the Rotary club learned it would cost an estimated $70,000 to bring the display up to Canadian Standards Association requirements for such a public display. (When it was located on private property it was not subject to the same requirements.)

But the Capri Rotary Club now says the estimate for the improvements was too high and after working with several electricians, feels it can display at least part of the light show for considerably less money.

So, armed with a $15,000 grant from the city, the club plans to start setting up the lights in Kerry Park at the foot of Bernard Avenue early next week.

The work is expected to take a few days to complete.

Meanwhile, the city's downtown Christmas light up—complete with the a giant lit Christmas tree and the traditional Nativity scene—will go Saturday evening at 6 p.m.

The light-up will cap a day of celebration by downtown merchants that will start at 11 a.m. and feature events such as cookie decorating, street hockey and live music. Santa will be on hand, there will be free skating at the outdoor rink in Stuart Park and face-painters will be there to make the kids look like penguins.



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