Let the sun shine for 18th annual festival

The long-range forecast is calling for sun on Saturday, so downtown Vernon's Sunshine Festival can live up to its name.

Children's entertainer Kiki the Eco Elf is one of the performers taking the stage at the Nixon Wenger performing arts stage at Saturday's Sunshine Festival in downtown Vernon.

Children's entertainer Kiki the Eco Elf is one of the performers taking the stage at the Nixon Wenger performing arts stage at Saturday's Sunshine Festival in downtown Vernon.

The 18th annual Sunshine Festival, presented by Case Furniture Gallery, is just three days away and with the long-range forecast calling for sun, it should live up to its name.

“We are very excited to have over 130 vendors at this year’s Sunshine Festival and be presenting many new attractions and activities this year,” said Holly Schmidt, events and marketing manager at the Downtown Vernon Association.

“The downtown Vernon merchants are very excited to come out on the street for the day and showcase to the community all that they have to offer.”

One exciting addition to Saturday’s festival is the 2014 RBC Cup Tournament Kickoff Rally, happening at noon on the Case Furniture Gallery Main Stage stage on the 2900 block of 30th Avenue.

“We appreciate being added to the festival at short notice” said organizer Don Klepp. “The rally will be opened by Beamer Wigley’s performance of the Hockey Tonight song that he wrote for the 2014 RBC Cup and will be followed by a Hockey Canada spokesman making the official announcement. There will be a number of Vipers in attendance as well as RBC Cup representatives.”

The 2014 RBC Cup Tournament committee will have the RBC Play Hockey interactive display outside of the RBC Royal Bank branch on 30th Avenue for the entire day. All are invited to check out the many great things that will be happening during the 2014 RBC Cup.

Another addition to this year’s festival is the RCMP Operation Family Identification booth, which will be up outside of Carousel Consignments, near Vernon Teach and Learn, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s a very important and free service that every parent should do for their child,”  said Schmidt.

The RCMP encourages parents to bring their children to the booth for the purposes of having their child’s photo and fingerprints taken. The parents then retain these photos and fingerprints in the event their child goes missing, or due to another tragic event.

A few other new attractions and activities to watch out for include a dance contest with Sun FM, art activities with The Hub Arts Collective, the Roaming Illusionist on a Trike, colouring contest with Wayside Press, hockey shoot-out with Aberdeen Wellness Clinic, a book signing by Lora Louise Bensmiller at Vernon Teach and Learn, and a performance stage by Our Kids Have Talent.

The Sunshine Festival will also feature the always popular activities, including bouncy houses, face painting, inflatable obstacle course, rock climbing wall and pony rides, to name a few.

“The DVA would like to remind everyone that 30th Avenue from 29th Street to Coldstream Avenue will be closed on Saturday between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.,” said Schmidt. “We are excited to announce that there will be free parking on all open streets and city parking lots (time limits apply) and free public transit to and from downtown Vernon (within City of Vernon limits).”