The Oliver Sunshine Festival is returning with some changes, taking a new direction with the community event.
This year the festival is going through some changes and featuring award-winning country artists the Chris Buck Band.
“We are so excited to have the Chris Buck Band coming to Oliver,” said organizer Natalie Alexander. “The group is very well known in Canada and has a big fanbase so we are really pleased to offer this high-caliber band in a free concert to residents of Oliver and hoping to see lots of visitors from outside the community as well.”
The Chris Buck Band is the BC Country Music Association’s reigning Country Club Act of the Year and 2015 Group or Duo of the Year. The group has played over 150 live shows over the past year, opening for the likes of Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Colt Ford and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
The Sunshine Festival is getting reimagined this year.
“We saw peak attendance t the festival of around 3,000 people in 2014 and are so grateful for the support we have received from the Rotary Club and other local sponsors and those in the community who did come out to enjoy the weekend,” said Carol Sheridan, organizer.
Sheridan said weather challenges, competition with a large number of other events in the Okanagan on the same weekend and the loss of the midway rides were some of the issues impacting the drop in the number of attendees.
“We felt that a reinvention of the festival to highlight Oliver’s diversity and heritage and bringing in a bigger headline music act on a different weekend to draw in more attendance was the best way forward,” Sheridan said.
The Oliver Sunshine festival is taking place a few weeks later than usual, running from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Aug. 19. The festival is focusing on showcasing Oliver’s heritage and the agricultural nature of the area through a full day of free, family-friendly activities and entertainment in Community Park.
The annual Sunshine Festival Parade will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Main Street Oliver before the main stage entertainment gets underway around noon.
Organizers are looking for support from local sponsors to help with main stage entertainment during the Sunshine Festival.
Oliver Parks and Recreation is patterning with the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association again to offer the fourth annual Uncork the Sun wine tasting event on Aug. 18. The ticketed, all-ages event is a major fundraiser for the Sunshine Festival and includes food, tastings of several local wines and live music.