Rory King

Rory King

Carnival fun on the agenda

Taking in the parade or attending a few favourite events, people look forward to the Vernon Winter Carnival.

Taking in the parade,  attending a few favourite events, or fitting in as much fun as possible, people look forward to the Vernon Winter Carnival.

Winter Carnival chairperson Dave Fletcher welcomed sponsors, volunteers and the media to a conference Wednesday.

“We are seeing the excitement starting to grow. We thank the 1,000 volunteers who make more than 100 events happen in 10 days. It wouldn’t all happen without them and our sponsors. We have many popular events back, including the snow sculpture, and some great new ones for the 52nd annual Vernon Winter Carnival.”

Vice-chairperson Calvin Hoy, a carnival supporter since he started as a jopo in high school 35 years ago, said, “This is an event that creates community. It’s something great for all of us.”

He acknowledged the Diamond sponsors, the City of Vernon, Pet Planet and Swan Lake Nurseryland, and Platinum sponsors, Agar, Schneider & Lett, Tourism Vernon, Okanagan Spring Brewery, Village Green Centre, Tim Hortons and Silver Star Mountain.

New events include Zumba Mini-Vibe for kids ages three to 10 and Zumba Vibe for Adults, sponsored by eXcel Fitness and local Zumba instructors, a fundraiser for the Okanagan Humane Society; the Vernon Community Music School formal dinner and dance to a live band; and the Army Navy Air Force Spring Breakout supper and dance. Another new event is Medieval Madness, sponsored by The Adrian Empire Inc., a non-profit educational group dedicated to recreating the very best of medieval times, with a feast, entertainment and live steel sword combat.

The Ukrainian Food Festival, which was voted the Best Event 2011 for its authentic, home-made food, is back, as is Irish Pub Night with Cod gone Wild, along with popular sports events for the whole family. The 20th Anniversary Balloon Fiesta takes to the sky the first weekend of Carnival with Balloon Glow Feb. 3.

See the Sporting with Carnival brochure, available at various locations around town, or www.vernonwintercarnival.com.

Some events are sold out and others have only a few tickets remaining. Tickets are available at the Winter Carnival office at 3401- 35 Ave. or at vernonwintercarnival. com.

“It’s a mad panic here now but everything always works out fine in the end,” said Dorothy Lindley, Carnival office secretary for nine years, Carnival volunteer for 25 years and parade committee member. “We have a lot of the entries in and we have certain groups that always do a good job and stick to the theme. We always look forward to the parade.”

Hoy said, “If you’re thinking of going to an event, you should make your plans sooner then later. If you know people who are new to the area and don’t know what a great event Carnival is, tell them about it. Those of us who live here might take Carnival for granted but we should think about what we have here and enjoy it and share it.”

The Proclamation of Queen Silver Star LII takes place Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Centre.

Tickets are $20, available from Ticket Seller and Queen Silver Star Excellence Program candidates.