Carli Berry/Capital News Seven-year-old Christina Vlassopoulos tries her hand at the drums during last year’s Fat Cat Children’s Festival, in Kelowna.

Kelowna’s Fat Cat Children’s Festival starts Friday

This year marks the 28th anniversary of the popular kids festival in Waterfront Park

Kelowna’s Fat Cat Children’s Festival may be turning 28 this year, but organizers are still aiming it at the young—and the young at heart.

“This year’s theme is World of Wonder,” said executive director Dorothee Birker. “Because it all starts with wonder, and the festival is all about allowing kids to wonder. We lose a little of that sense as we get older.”

Birker hopes the young attendees who take in this year’s 28th edition of the festival in Waterfront Park today and Saturday will walk away having discovered a new passion. And, she says, there will be plenty of options to choose from this year.

The two-day festival, a highlight on the Kelowna public celebration schedule for many, will go rain or shine and this year will feature a new twist on one of it’s most traditional features.

The parade that kicks off the festivities Saturday morning will be held entirely within Waterfront Park for the first time this year, with participants gathering at Pioneer Gardens and wending their way over the Harmony Bridge and through the park.The parade starts at 11 a.m.

In the past, the parade has been held on Cawston Avenue and Water Street as a participants head towards the park.

“The new route will make the parade much more interactive,” said Birker.

Festival admission this year is $5 per person at the gate, or a family pass (for four people) for $15. Cut-price early-bird family passes can be bought at any Interior Savings branch from Vernon to West Kelowna for just $10 per pass. The Interior Savings passes will also give buyers a chance to win a trip for four to anywhere Pacific Coastal Airlines flies in B.C, plus a $1,000 pre-paid Visa card.

Today, the festival will throw its doors open to an estimated 1,300 local school kids who will make the traditional school day field-trip with their classmates and teachers on the festival’s first day.

But Birker said everyone is welcome, especially families with very young kids who may find a little more room to move around today.

This year some of the top performers at the festival will be percussionist Zack Gauthier with his Bring The Noise show, Cosmo the Clown and stilt-walkers Kinshira.

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