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Best events recognized at Vernon Winter Carnival awards

Nine awards were handed out Friday, and the name of Winter Carnival’s new mascot was announced

When the 64th annual Vernon Winter Carnival was all said and done, volunteers had put in more than 5,000 hours to make the annual winter festival a reality.

Many of those volunteers gathered at the Best Western hotel on Anderson Way Friday to celebrate their achievements and recognize the highlights of the nine-day festival with the Carnival Award Volunteer Appreciation Night.

The Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band got the evening started with some boisterous tunes, before Carnival executive director Kris Fuller got the crowd warmed up with some games, taking after this year’s Carnival theme.

Before the awards were handed out there was one big announcement to make: Carnival had been trying to come up with a name for its new Yeti mascot, and Fuller announced that the name chosen was jopeti, a nod to longtime Carnival mascots jopo and jopette.

Fuller, who was surprised by her Carnival team with a bouquet of flowers, proceeded to announce awards in nine Carnival categories:

• Best Adult Event - 13th Winter Carnival Blues Festival (ANAF)

• Best New Event - Ella’s Naughty Bingo

• Best Junior Event - Retro Nintendo Mario Party

• Best Outdoor Event - Total Fun Bed Races

• Best Family Event - Ground Hog Day at Allan Brooks Nature Centre

• Best Senior Event - Bingo Marathon with Halina Centre

• Best Theme Event - Figure Skating Ice Show

• Best Cultural Event - Games Around the World

• Cocktail Competition Venue Winner - Small Axe Roadhouse

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu reminisced about the Winter Carnival parade, when Premier David Eby joined her for the favourite event, refusing to ride in a truck, preferring instead to walk the parade route and hand out candy to kids.

In all, 60 event hosts attended the Carnival awards. The event included a slide show created by Yenin Art featuring over 300 volunteers, with shots from official Vernon Winter Carnival photographer Wayne Emde.

The Carnival board loves to see new venues step into the Carnival festivities, and reminds that for next year, events of any size can be hosted. Some of the smallest events at this year’s Carnival hosted six to eight guests, such as the art tours at Mackie Lake House and Cotton’s Chocolates.

Some events boasted larger crowds, like the PeeWee Hockey Tournament.

“If you’re looking to get involved next year, please do! Kris would love to talk to you about the possibilities,” said the board.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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