Vernon Winter Carnival intern Zac Schryburt (from left) vice-chairperson Laurell Cornell and volunteer Jordan Bishop put the finishing paint touches on a display for the Carnival’s Drive-Thru Ice Park that will be set up at Polson Park. The 61st annual Vernon Winter Carnival, with its Wild West theme, kicks off Friday, Feb. 5, and runs through to Sunday, Feb. 14. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon Winter Carnival intern Zac Schryburt (from left) vice-chairperson Laurell Cornell and volunteer Jordan Bishop put the finishing paint touches on a display for the Carnival’s Drive-Thru Ice Park that will be set up at Polson Park. The 61st annual Vernon Winter Carnival, with its Wild West theme, kicks off Friday, Feb. 5, and runs through to Sunday, Feb. 14. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon Winter Carnival kicks off virtual wild west event

61st annual event will host many virtual events from Friday, Feb. 5 to Sunday, Feb. 14

It will have a different feel but organizers hope the 61st annual Vernon Winter Carnival will still raise locals’ spirits.

The Carnival of the Wild West starts Friday, Feb, 5, and runs to Sunday, Feb. 14.

All events during Carnival will be done under the most current COVID protocols and orders from B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

One victim of COVID is the annual parade, always slated for the first Saturday of Carnival at noon through the streets of Vernon. It is the city’s only yearly parade and one of the few winter parades held in the province.

Carnival executive director Vicki Proulx said they tried to work with Interior Health to come up with a way of moving forward with the parade, like making it reverse, making the route shorter or closing the streets. Health authorities felt there were too many moving parts to keep it safe for the public and participants.

“We will re-schedule the parade when it’s possible to do so,” said Proulx. “Doesn’t matter the season, we’ll bring the Winter Carnival parade to the community as soon as we can.”

Vernon Winter Carnival 2021 presented by Valley First will still be hosting virtual events as well as a Drive-Thru Ice Park in Polson Park featuring ice sculptures with the Wild West Theme.

The Drive-Thru Ice Park opens at 10:30 a..m. Feb. 5 and runs four times daily throughout Carnival. Bundle up with the family, enjoy a hot chocolate and look out the windows of your car as Polson Park is transformed into a wild west winter playground! Ice Sculptures and Wild West displays will line the roadway as you’re taken on a journey through the wild west like never before!

Tickets are $10 per car. Passengers in the vehicle must be from your immediate family or cohort as per the provincial health orders.

The ice park is open four times daily from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 1-2:30 p.m.; 3:30-5 p.m.; and 6-7:30 p.m. Each event is open to only 50 cars.

Tickets are on sale now for virtual events and the Drive-Thru Ice Park at www.vernonwintercarnival.com.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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