Oliver set to shine for annual festival

The world will come together next weekend in Oliver. The Oliver International Sunshine Festival takes place July 16 in Oliver Community Park.

The world will come together next weekend in Oliver. The Oliver International Sunshine Festival takes place July 16 in Oliver Community Park.

The annual parade will get the festivities started at 10:30 a.m. along Highway 97, with entertainment and activities following from noon to 7 p.m. in the park.

“The Sunshine Festival parade is shaping up to be a colourful display of local celebrities, service organizations and clubs, entertaining floats and several different types of vehicles,” said Tracy Veintimilla, parade co-ordinator, who reminds spectators that there will be no parking along Main Street between 346th and 99th from 7 a.m. to noon.

Back by popular demand, the Oliver Fire Department will again be taking part in the parade. However, organizers stress that the traditional water fight between spectators and the fire department is only allowed at the end of the parade route on the empty grass lot between Shopper’s Drug Mart and the Oliver Food Bank.

Headlining the festival are magician Damien Carriere and Funhouse, a three-piece band that will get people dancing to both classic and country music.  Music and clothing and dance moves from different parts of the world will be displayed during the first-ever International Fashion Show.

“Oliver has such amazing diversity in its population to be proud of, and it is great to see involvement on both the organizing committee and though entertainment and food offerings from the Indo-Canadian and Mexican communities,” said Carol Sheridan, festival co-ordinator.  “We want to show our residents and the rest of B.C. that the world truly comes together in Oliver and coming to the park on July 16 is a great way to celebrate this fact by seeing, hearing and tasting different cultures.”

In addition to the main stage entertainment, that also includes Get Bent Belly Dancers, Louis Martineau (AKA the “Canadian Crooner”), the Buffalo Wild Drummers & Dancers and children’s performer Mat Dufus, there will be a craft works tent, climbing wall, bouncy castle, world food fair, beverage garden, artisans and sports demos

Festival goers can also try bocce, lawn bowling or tennis with equipment provided by local organizations, along with face painting and henna tattoos offered by youth ambassadors.