Whether your ideal winter boasts colourful balloons against a bright blue sky, ice-themed family fun, or an assortment of cold weather competitions, you’ll find it all – and a whole lot more – at the 60th anniversary Vernon Winter Carnival!
Presented by Valley First Feb. 7 to 16, the Carnival celebrates Vernon as an exceptional winter destination, with a full 125 events planned over the 10-day festival.
“With family and adult activities, and both free and ticketed events, there really is something for everyone to do, experience and enjoy at the Carnival,” says Vicki Proulx, Carnival executive director.
Hot ticket events include Suds ‘N Cider, Predator Ridge Parka Party and UnWined Downtown, but with this year’s “Remember the ’60s” theme, you know there’s plenty more fun to be had, including the parade, Family Day in the Park, hockey, balloon festival and snow sculptures.
A long history of winter fun
While the Vernon Winter Carnival is officially celebrating 60 years this year, its roots reach back much farther.
In fact, the first Winter Carnival was held on Long Lake (Kalamalka Lake) in 1893, before the Vernon Rotary Club next proposed a Winter Carnival in 1944-45. The first annual Winter Carnival as it’s now known was held Jan. 27 to Feb. 5, 1961, with events over years including everything from speed skating and novelty races to a bonspiel and polar bear swim.
The Feather Fanciers marked their 50th annual show last year, while the popular Chili Cookoff and Winter Carnival Blues Festival each celebrated their 10th annual events.
Do you Jopo (or Jopette)?
Of course, such a full lineup also brings ample opportunity to get involved in other ways, including sponsorships and volunteering.
Some of the many positions available include roles as Carnival mascots Jopo and Jopette, “Carnival Cops” and Officer Helpers – volunteers who deliver buttons, brochures and posters, attend events and make stops with what is now known as the “Arrest the Best” fundraiser.
Plan your Carnival visit
With so many events and activities to choose from, it pays to plan ahead: Check out the online brochure where you’ll find the “Carnival at a Glance” lineup, more detailed listings, maps and more.