Planners of Kelowna’s inaugural Fusion Festival expect to awaken a new understanding of what the downtown has to offer with the potpourri of music, food and children’s entertainment they’re offering next month.
“So many people are moving to Kelowna and don’t know what’s here,” said Quinn Best, one of the co-planners of the multi-faceted festival taking place Aug. 13 that’s replacing Mardi Gras.
“So we’ve been talking about a program that showcases arts and culture…and culture is not just entertainment.”
A little known fact about this city’s downtown is that a good chunk of the world’s cuisine is actually represented in the 89 restaurants that have set up shop.
With that in mind event organizers are planning to tap into their skills for the summer event by offering an array of street-food at the event.
In the days leading to the festival, there will event be a pre-festival promotion that will get locals eating out more frequently. Starting July 22, the Downtown Kelowna Association is launching Taste of Downtown, which features a self-guided tour of 24 of downtown Kelowna’s great restaurants and eateries.
Participants have three weeks to get their passport book stamped at as many locations as possible and those with at least 15 stamps can submit them for a prize at the festival.
While tantalizing taste buds is one of the new ways festival planners intend to lure the community to the event, Best said there will be lots of entertainment to choose from.
The owner of the live music venue Habitat was also one of the minds behind the Break Out West Festival, which was lauded for months as one of the most successful events to be held downtown.
“Through Break Out West we got a blueprint for the best practices to create a successful event in Kelowna,” he said.
One of the more outstanding aspects of that event, was that numerous venues offered live music and that created a flow of bodies in the downtown previously unseen.
The festival should capture some of that energy, only it will also play-up the outdoor assets of Kelowna.
“We have this new cultural corridor that wasn’t around before,” said Best, pointing to the fact that events will be held in Kerry Park through to Stuart Park.
That space will host live music and performances on two stages, interactive cultural activities for kids and youth featuring cultural arts and crafts, a array of flags, top-notch performance artists and exhibitors’ display booths and attractions.
All in all, upwards of 10,000 spectators are expected to attend.
To learn more, or to see ways you can take part go to www.kelownafusionfestival.com.