Vernon Winter Carnival pivotal in local history

Events may come and go, but the essence of Carnival remains

It has evolved over its decorated history, but the impact of the Vernon Winter Carnival remains the same.

Few festivals have left as lasting an impression on a community as Vernon’s iconic 10-day festival. Several North Okanagan happenings had to occur before Carnival evolved into what it is now.

Related: Vernon Winter Carnival prepped for kick off

According to the Vernon Winter Carnival historians, the first ever Winter Carnival happened long before the annual edition took root Jan. 27 to Feb. 5, 1961.

Originally held on Kalamalka Lake Feb. 23, 1893, original organizers said that the Carnival was a unique occurrance in British Columbia.

Years later, the Vernon Rotary Club looked to host a Winter Carnival in the 1940s.

These carnivals laid the groundwork for what has become perhaps the most iconic festival Vernon has to offer.

Several events from the 1961 Vernon Winter Carnival remain today such as the annual hockey tournament. Now known as the Coca-Cola Classic Pee Wee Hockey Tournament, which is in its 48th year, the tournaments began as a minor hockey jamboree. In 1966, jopo appeared as Bill and Lorraine Allum donned the original jester garb.

Vicki Proulx, executive director, said the best part of Carnival is hearing stories from all demographics. Whether it’s about Carnivals past or present, Proulx said that community engagement is what keeps the Carnival strong.

“I think to have an event running for 59 years is amazing,” Proulx said.

Events have come and gone, but the legacy of the original Vernon Winter Carnival continues today.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

What’s happening Family Day at SilverStar

SilverStar is offering a 50 per cent discount for all-inclusive day tickets on Family Day.

Death Café returns to Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Summerland events toast touchy subject

Highway 97 rock slide north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Costs of road work so far estimated at between $300,000 and $350,000

Fentanyl, cocaine, body armour seized in Vernon suspected ‘dial a dope’ arrests

Five people suspected of being involved in a dial a dope operation arrested

More snow on the way for Okanagan-Shuswap

Up to 5 cm of the white stuff could fall across the Okanagan - Shuswap on Friday

Vernon art gallery turns out the lights and throws a party

DJ, drinks and food at Art After Dark Feb. 23

Okanagan mental health facility takes holistic approach to recovery

Healthy Essentials Clinic is more than a medical arm in Lake Country

Tribute to well-loved Shuswap teacher enables outdoor learning

Family, co-workers raise funds for Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Semi loses control on Highway 97A in Shuswap

Slippery roads contribute to crash of transport truck carrying tires

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and prominent member of the club, filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 1

Most Read