Rousing ovations from large near-capacity crowds following each performance greeted those who took part in the sixth annual Okanagan Military Tattoo at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place Saturday and Sunday.
This year’s event featured plenty of variety.
“It’s not all just bagpipes. It’s dancing, singing and marching bands,” said Tattoo director Warren Burgess. “The Brentwood Imperial Youth Band (from Britain) is brand new. We’ve never had the Jiffy Jeep before, where the army folks tear it down and put it back together in two-and-a-half minutes.
“And we had Vernon’s Camille Martens here with her rhythmic gymnasts and they did a wonderful job.”
The two shows were the culmination point of nearly a year of planning.
“We’ ve worked virtually all year leading up to this,” said Burgess. “We’re hearing from a lot of people that this was our best show ever.”
The Brentwood Imperial Youth Band, who delighted crowds at the show with their performance and drumline battle with the B.C. champion A.L. Fortune Secondary Drumline from Enderby, and the recently crowned World Junior Drumline Champions, the Calgary Round-Up Band, would agree.
“It’s crazy, everyone has been saying, ‘congratulations, well done,’ and that they enjoyed the show,” said band leader Johnny Wyndham. “That’s why we do it, to make the people happy. It’s been fantastic.”
The band conducted a flash mob at the Vernon Farmers Market on the Thursday prior to the Tattoo to help promote the show. They’ll be in the Okanagan for a couple of more days before heading to Vancouver Tuesday.
“Thank you very much for having us,” said an appreciative Wyndham.