Six-year-old Decklan McKechnie measures the wind direction at Polson Park as his brother Isaiah

Six-year-old Decklan McKechnie measures the wind direction at Polson Park as his brother Isaiah

Vernon ready to rock with Carnival

Vernon Winter Carnival is all set to kick up its feet and groove to the beat of rock and roll

Vernon Winter Carnival is all set to kick up its feet and groove to the beat of rock and roll.

The 55th annual event will be in full swing Friday through to Feb. 15, but not before the new royalty is proclaimed Thursday.

Queen Silver Star LV is crowned at the Performing Arts Centre Thursday during the 7 to 9 p.m. Proclamation and Coronation ceremonies.

The new ambassadors will then commence their royal duty celebrating the Carnival of Rock and Roll.

Carnival gets into gear Friday morning with hot air balloons dotting the local landscape as the 23rd annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta rises to the occasion and the B.C. Championship Snow Sculpture Competition gets rockin’ up at Silver Star.

The official Count Down to Carnival takes place in Polson Park at 5 p.m. Friday, just before the Hot Air Balloon Glow at 5:30.

However warmer temperatures are threatening to relocate a few of these key events.

“We are possibly facing a few issues,” said Diana Williamson, executive director, as the mercury is forecast to continually rise causing concern for the hot air balloons.

“Polson Park is a little soft and Swan Lake we cannot land on because it’s too soft.”

Warmer weather won’t melt these Winter Carnival traditions, but may result in relocation. Watch for any changes.

Meanwhile, the rest of Carnival is gaining a warm reception from the community.

“Ticket sales are doing awesome,” said Williamson of the long roster of events (available at

But there’s still room to break those winter blues and rock the winter season with Vernon Winter Carnival.

The party kicks off Friday night with an elegant twist for the Sparkling Snowflake Ball at the Schubert Centre featuring the Legendary Lake Monsters (doors open at 6 p.m.).

“It’s a dress to impress event and it’s a great dinner and dance,” said Williamson.

One of the highlights of Carnival, the parade, gets marching at noon Saturday, followed by another free family tradition, Bandarama.

Then there’s two chances to rock the night away.

City Dance hosts a Rock n’ Roll Fever Dance Party Saturday at 8 p.m.

“It’s the first time they’ve done an event,” said Williamson of the party which welcomes costume and will offer a full night of rocking through the decades, as well as some lessons.

Or, get your Irish rock on with Vernon’s own Celtic rockers, Cod Gone Wild, as the Recreation Complex Auditorium is transformed for Irish Pub Night at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

The popular Newfoundland ‘ugly stick’ competition returns, with prizes for best homemade ugly stick as well as best ugly stick dance.

Sunday’s Kid’s Truck Rodeo has been cancelled this year, but the day is full of events such as free movies at Galaxy Cinemas and the Kids Karnival at the Boys and Girls Club.

Family Day on Monday is also rockin’, despite the cancellation of Rock the Sport multi-sport tournament.

“You’ve got Family Day in the park, then you can check out the Server Olympics and then come celebrate jopo’s 50th birthday,” said Williamson.

Monday also marks the start of patrols as the Arrest the Best jail takes shape at the corner of 32nd Avenue and 30th Street.

“The cops will be out in full force,” warns Williamson, as anyone without a Carnival button risks being put behind bars.

Events continue straight through to Sunday, Feb. 15, including the traditional Winter Breakout Wednesday, Feb. 11 at noon at the Schubert Centre.

“It’s to celebrate citizens who go above and beyond in our community.”

The North Okanagan’s youngest rockers (elementary students) are urged to take advantage of the biggest dance party designed solely for them – the Much Music Video Dance Feb. 13 at the rec centre.

Then love will be rockin’ on Valentine’s Day with a sweet serving of events, including the sixth annual Blues Festival at the rec centre.