Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for this year’s Canada Day festival slated for downtown on Sunday. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News.

Everything old is new again for Kelowna’s Canada Day festival

After high lake levels pushed it off the lakeshore last year, the July 1 party is back on the beach

After last year’s high water level in Okanagan Lake pushed Kelowna’s Canada Day celebrations off the lakeshore, the event is back on the beach this year.

Festival’s Kelowna executive director Renata Mils said Tuesday activities including one of the seven stages to be set up around the downtown core for the annual Canada Day festival will be back in Waterfront Park on Sunday.

“Everything old is new again,” said Mills.

She said while the festival site will be centred in Waterfront Park and at Rhapsody Square—where the Dolphins sculpture and fountain is located across from Prospera Place—there will be a number of other locations offering entertainment and activities, including Jim Stuart Park, the Arts Common at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, the Kelowna Art Galley, Prospera Place and other points along Water Street.

“We are delighted to be returning to our usual festival set up this year and our number one goal continues to be making Canada Day in Kelowna something for everyone in our community, from toddlers to seniors,” said Mills.

Also returning this year will be the Canada Day nighttime fireworks show. Last year, because of the flooding, it was moved to the B.C. Day long weekend. The fireworks will go at 10:30 p.m. off Waterfront Park and an expected crowd of 30,000 will descend on the downtown lakeshore to watch the pyrotechnics.

Over the course of the day, more than 60,000 people are expected to check out the Kelowna Canada Day festival downtown.

Starting at 11 a.m. and leading up the fireworks 11 1/2 hours later, organizers say there will be plenty of fun things to do and see, with entertainment, activities, music, food and an artisans market.

New activities this year will include the Coast Capital Savings Fun Zone in Jim Stuart Park where families can play giant games and compete in Zorb soccer—where competitors get inside giant plastics balls and try to knock their opponents over. Also new this year will be demonstrations by four-legged members of the Kelowna Dog Agility Club, and live music in Kerry Park.

The 45th annual Canada Day Folk Fest —featuring ethnic entertainment and food—will go inside Prospera Place during the day and the Canada Day concert, featuring the Kelowna City Band, will go during the evening prior to the fireworks.

Parts of Water Street will be closed Sunday for the event and extra buses will be running for up to 30 minutes after the fireworks finish around 11 p.m.

A complete schedule of events and more information about the 2018 Canada Day festival in Kelowna can be found in today’s Capital News, or at festivalskelowna.com.

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