It’s official, Vernon Winter Carnival will proceed in 2021 – despite the challenges of COVID-19.
Planning is already underway for the Feb. 5-14 Wild West Carnival, presented by Valley First.
“Carnival will have the opportunity at setting the bar and setting an example of how to create, run and promote large scale festivals under what is seeming to be a new ‘normal’ world for possibly a few years to come,” Carnival chairperson Erik Olesen said. “Not only will we be able to showcase new and creative ways to hold events, but we will do it in a safe way that makes the public feel comfortable. We hope to garner a lot of attention from other event and festival holders looking to us for support and information on how to pull it off.”
Last year Vernon Winter Carnival held over 100 events during the 10-day festival. Although the 2021 festival will be scaled down slightly, the general consensus from the board of directors is that this is an opportunity to adapt to the new normal. Vernon Winter Carnival Society will be working closely with the provincial government and all the event holders to ensure proper COVID-19 protocols are in place for all festival events.
“Our board is coming up with some great ideas on how to not only adapt existing events (including the 61st annual parade), but to create new, exciting events that will work favourably with physical distancing measures,” Carnival executive director Vicki Proulx said. “Outdoor events will play a big part in the festival for 2021, bigger spaces and fewer faces. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 there will be some events that just can’t happen, but we’re finding there’s lots of ways to get creative and adjust.”
Vernon Winter Carnival was the last large scale event to take place in Vernon before COVID-19, and seemingly it will be the first to return.
“Our festival attracts thousands of visitors to our region on a normal year, this is an fantastic opportunity for us to really promote the festival across Western Canada, encouraging Canadians to visit their ‘own backyard’ and support our local economy,” Proulx said.
Carnival encourages all businesses and organizations in the community to get involved and get creative.
“Not only do we have lots of ideas to share, but who can resist the theme this year? Wild West just screams for people to get outside and explore the many winter activities Vernon has to offer.”
Visit vernonwintercarnival.com to register your event today or for more information on sponsorship, volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved.
Deadline to register an event is Nov. 15. Tickets for all Vernon Winter Carnival events will go on sale Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.