Thousands come out for MapleFest in Kelowna

Food, games, and live music as fun was had by all

The Kelowna MapleFest made its triumphant return for the first time in two years over the weekend.

Presented by Le Centre culturel francophone de l’Okanagan (CCFO), the festival at Stuart Park on Water Street welcomed people from all over the Okanagan to partake in games, activities, and live music.

“[The turnout] was really good,” said Executive Director Claudie Valque. “It’s hard to evaluate how many people but we evaluated around 3,000-4,000 people (on Saturday).”

The festivities started at local restaurant ‘Frankie, We Salute You’ on Thursday night (April 28). Valque said the maximum capacity of 50 was reached.

On Saturday, people and families alike were able to put on their dancing shoes and take part in line dancing and tap dancing workshops. There were also multiple animation workshops as well as a circus workshop. Live music was featured throughout the day as well.

(Photo - Jordy Cunningham)

There was some rain that the CCFO prepared for in the morning but it turned to a mix of sun and cloud in the afternoon.

Many food vendors were selling snacks and more, including four stations of food: maple taffy on snow, maple sugar tarts, maple cotton candy, and pea soup.

On Sunday morning, there was a sugar shack brunch at Lauren Packinghouse, where they reached their capacity before the doors even opened.

“We were sold out before we opened,” said Valque. “We had 350 tickets sold, and plus all the volunteers, we served almost 400 brunches on Sunday. Other years we would end up selling out but at the door.”

Valque said that, sadly, because it was a ticketed event this year, they had to turn people away at the door because it was already sold out, though they were still able to grab a coffee and enjoy the live music.

Of course, maple syrup was also available to purchase throughout the event.

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