Vernon’s largest indoor event has begun planning for its 2020 spectacular.
The seventh annual Okanagan Military Tattoo — also Western Canada’s largest such event — will run Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26 at Kal Tire Place.
“The Okanagan Military Tattoo is an event that will stir the heart and feed the soul,” event vice-president Derek Hall said. “Get ready for two hours of heart-pounding, fast-paced, family entertainment. More than 500 performers will take part in the event of a lifetime, including massed pipes and drums, highland and ethnic dancers, military and civilian bands, cultural troupes, precision drills, singers and the poignant refrain of the Lone Piper against the stunning backdrop of the Castle.”
While still awaiting formal confirmation from some performers, plans for the 2020 Okanagan Military Tattoo include the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Regimental Bank of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. A drill team, guard and band from the Vernon Cadet Camp will once again wow the audience as will the Okanagan Tattoo Dancers.
The Tattoo also hopes to continue the tradition of a Drumline Competition that began in 2019 with drummers from A.L Fortune Secondary School in Enderby, the Calgary Round-Up Band and the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band.
“It was a real crowd-pleaser,” Hall said.
The annual Tribute to the Veterans segment of the program in 2020 will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Second World War and Korean War veterans will be invited to attend the 2020 show free of charge, together with a companion or caregiver. All seating is reserved and the facility is fully air-conditioned.
Last summer’s Tattoo – the 6th annual — was a resounding success.
“Audience numbers were up, the Tattoo made a modest profit and feedback from performers, members of the audience, sponsors and our volunteers were very positive,” Hall said.
Farmers’ Markets in Vernon and Kelowna got a taste of the Tattoo when flash mobs from the UK’s Brentwood Imperial Youth Band and the Calgary Round-Up Band showed up wowing both the vendors and shoppers.
The Canadian Army’s Jiffy Jeep team together with the Regimental Band of British Columbia Regiment also put on a lunch-hour show for Kal Tire staff at their head office the day before the Tattoo. Kal Tire is a major sponsor of the event.
More than 500 cadets from Camp Vernon had an opportunity to see the show free of charge when they were invited to attend the full dress rehearsal just prior to the first performance on July 27.
At the recent Tattoo annual general meeting, Norm Crerar, Tattoo president, praised everyone who helped make the Tattoo such a resounding success.
“We couldn’t have put on a show of this calibre without the support of our partners and our incredible volunteers,” he said. “In 2019, 138 volunteers logged in over 4,000 hours. We had 62 local partners who contributed cash, services and in-kind donations.”
Crerar also thanked the City of Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan for their support.
Tickets for the 7th Annual Okanagan Military Tattoo make great Christmas Gifts and are now on sale at TicketSeller in Vernon. Call 250-549-7469 or go online at ticketseller.ca. Special early-bird ticket pricing is in effect until Dec. 31.
For more information, check out the Okanagan Military Tattoo website at OkanaganTattoo.ca.