Only the best for Penticton Children’s Festival

Taes Leavitt (Boots) and Nick Adams (Splash) of Toronto make up Splash 'N Boots

There wasn’t a huge increase in the attendance numbers at the Rotary International Children’s’ Festival, but organizers said it’s mirroring the trend of recent years.

“It’s right on the money really; it’s kind of stabilized at that level, said Gord Osland, executive director of the volunteer society that puts on the festival. “We were quite thrilled, especially the first day, there was rain.”

But the less than sunny weather didn’t deter the kids from having fun, according to Osland.

“It didn’t really stop any kind of enthusiasm at all. The kids were just running around having a great time anyway,” he said.

“The shows were great — it’s indescribable. How much fun can you have? I never heard a cross word the whole three days, everyone was having a fantastic time.”

While most of the 10,000 coming through the festival gates at Okanagan Lake Park, some were coming from farther afield, including Washington State as well as the Lower Mainland.

“They miss the Vancouver outdoor site, they are all indoors now,” said Osland. They’ve also seen a growth in the number of people including the festival as a “must-do” as they tour the region, visiting wineries and other attractions.

“We are seeing more of that kind of spread now. They were calling the office to see what hotels to use, and if we had any kind of special festival rates,” said Osland. “It’s not just a city event now, it’s a regional festival. So we’re tapping into a lot more people coming in.”

This festival will be Osland’s last though as he follows through on his plans to retire.

“I am going to sleep for a week, maybe more,” he said. Other plans, he said, include performing and recording music.

“It’s going to be back in the roots of where I come from. I started playing music in the early 60s,” he said. “And hang out with the grandkids, take them to hockey and swimming, and just be Grandpa Gord.”

Osland adds that the festival has a solid organization with the combination of Karen Dunham continuing as administrator and Conrad Burek stepping into his old position.

“I think we are in good hands here … He’s got the people skills and I have every bit of faith that he is going to get out there and raise more money than I ever have.”


Just Posted

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Coldstream

Crash blocks Channel Parkway

Northbound was completely blocked, while southbound traffic was reduced to single lane

Recovery centre operator said neighbours bought property ‘in haste’

Penticton addiction recovery centre plan halted by neighbours

Attempted carjacking at Penticton mall

A 24-year-old man is in custody, while a 37-year-old woman was uninjured by the incident

Fundraising effort for man assaulted at Penticton nightclub

A GoFundMe account was created to assist the Penticton man that was assaulted

Video: En’owkin project gets $20,000 boost

The En’owkin Centre on the Penticton Indian Reserve is working to restore culture and habitat

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

Charges in car wash shooting stalled

Court waits for police watchdog report on Salmon Arm incident.

Oz brings down the house

Laughter flies like house in a tornado at Cawston Players Wizard of Oz

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

Most Read