Lighting up your holidays

Events taking place through the holidays offering up lights, wine tastings, tours, prizes and more.

Reo Jerome works on his ice sculpture at 2012 Summerland Festival of Lights. Ice sculpture artists will return along with more entertainment and activities for the 2014 event on Nov. 28.

Reo Jerome works on his ice sculpture at 2012 Summerland Festival of Lights. Ice sculpture artists will return along with more entertainment and activities for the 2014 event on Nov. 28.

This weekend, Summerland will mark the start of the festive season with the 27th annual Festival of Lights.

The festival, on Friday, Nov. 28, is expected to draw 6,000 visitors to the downtown area for an evening of entertainment, attractions and fireworks.

Downtown holiday lights displays will be turned on at 7 p.m.

The evening is organized by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s theme is Christmas Rocks. Entertainment includes a mix of rock, rhythm and blues, soul and southern groove, in addition to choirs and carollers.

Sophia Jackson of the Summerland Chamber said local performers this year include Daniel Raitt of Silent Alarm and Our Sons, lead by John Rousseau.

Damn Fools, a highly rated Vancouver-based southern rock band, will also provide musical entertainment.

The evening also includes a fireworks display, sponsored by the Summerland Credit Union, followed by a fire dance by Kelowna’s Kinshira Performance Troupe.

In addition to the entertainment, the festival will feature food and gift vendors on Main Street.

Three ice carving stations, sponsored by Nesters Market, will be set up downtown..

For children, the Summerland Credit Union will host its Santa’s Workshop craft area. IGA Summerland will host the Kids Zone, which includes bouncy castles and pictures with Santa.

The Summerland Fire Department will have a fire truck set up downtown and will collect donations for the annual Toys and Toonies for Tots and Teens drive.

On the Saturday and Sunday, the Bottleneck Drive wineries will host the fourth annual Light Up the Vines event.

Light Up the Vines will be one of the many holiday-themed events taking place throughout the South Okanagan from Nov. 29-30. Winery tours with complimentary tastings and weekend passes will be offering up deals throughout the weekend from Summerland to Osoyoos.

Bottleneck Drive

From Nov. 29-30 Bottleneck Wineries will be lighting up the vines from 3-7 p.m. in the spirit of the holidays and providing tours of the many wineries for the fourth annual Light Up the Vines event.

There will be self-guided and guided tour options for the weekend as well as wine tastings throughout Bottleneck Drive and a chance to win a prize valued over $500. Also, there will be no tasting fees at the wineries.

Grapefriends Lounge and Tours, Distinctly Kelowna Tours and Experience Wine Tours are each offering a chance to journey through wine country during the annual lighting of the vines.

Grapefriends is offering a guided safe ride for an evening of touring through five of the wineries on Bottleneck Drive. Pick up and drop off from Summerland and Penticton locations is provided. The tour costs $55 per person. For more information contact Karen at 250-328-2008 or Ron at 250-328-2009.

Distinctly Kelowna Tours is inviting wine lovers along to tour the lit-up vines. The tour includes pick up and drop off as well as a fun, informative guide to take you through the many wineries on Bottleneck Drive. The tour stops at a minimum of six wineries and costs$84 per person. Participants in this tour will be entered to win a winery tour for two, and there is special pricing for groups of six or more. Contact Distinctly Kelowna Tours at 250-979-1211

Top Cat Tours have been conducting these tours since the Light Up the Vines began.  Top Cat is the longest running wine tour company in Penticton which is locally owned and operated.  They are providing our service for $35 per person and currently filling their fourth bus. For more information contact Top Cat Tours at 250-493-7385.

Winter in Wine Country

Warm up to Winter in  Oliver-Osoyoos Wine Country on Nov. 29 and 30. This two day event features 27 different wineries each hosting their own individual events including special tasting room opportunities, food pairing, Christimas carols and Christmas lights to light up the winter night. Returning this year is the Winter in Wine Country Weekend Passport. Visitors touring the wineries can collect a stamp from each visit. Collect six stamps and you will be eligible to win a cash prize from Oliver-Osoyoos Wine Country. There will also be bonus draws for those who rack up extra visits. Regular visitors can get their normal winery passport stamped as well. Passports will be available at each winery or can be printed out online.

For more information and to see the hours of availability for each of the 27 wineries visit

Okanagan Falls Holiday Cheer

The Holiday Cheer open house weekend put on by the Okanagan Falls Winery Association will feature an open house at each of the areas 12 wineries on Nov. 29 and 30.

The tasting rooms will be open to all for complimentary wine tastings with different holiday-themed food pairings and discounts on items that should make great gifts just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Each winery will also feature a scavenger hunt item that guests can locate and take a picture of with their phone. The prize for the winner is a winery tour for two in an Okanagan Falls winery donated by Top Cat Tours. Entry into the contest will only be completed when guests find a minimum of five scavenger hunt items and post with the hashtag #OFWAHolidayCheer on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Similkameen  Country Christmas

The Fourth Annual Similkameen Country Christmas with the Similkameen Wineries Association will feature seven different wineries opening their doors for self-guided holiday tours on Dec 6 and 7. Holiday decorations will set the mood for this two-day event with gifts, art and of course, wine, available to get the holiday shopping season started out right. Grab a passport at the first winery you visit and get it stamped as you travel throughout the Similkameen Wineries to enter for a chance to win $200 Similkameen Wineries Association wine lover’s package. There are also rumours floating around that Santa enjoys giving out award-winning wines.