Cadets take part in a colour party during the Okanagan Military Tattoo, an all-around variety show with performances scheduled for July 27 and 28. Tickets are on sale now.

Cadets take part in a colour party during the Okanagan Military Tattoo, an all-around variety show with performances scheduled for July 27 and 28. Tickets are on sale now.

Okanagan Military Tattoo cancelled for second straight year

Ongoing concerns around COVID-19 and large gatherings have organizers looking ahead to 2022

COVID-19 has once again foiled efforts to bring hundreds of performers together for the Okanagan Military Tattoo.

The event, which typically fills Kal Tire Place each summer, has been cancelled for the second straight year as provincial restrictions to curb transmission of the virus continues to limit group activities.

Norm Crerar, president of the Okanagan Military Tattoo Society, said the decision was “devastating” but necessary, given that local pipe bands haven’t yet been able to gather in a circle to practice.

“We’ve gotten to the point now where none of the pipe bands or the military bands have been able to get together and play for the last year and a half, and the restrictions haven’t lifted yet so nobody has enough time to play together,” Crerar said.

“There was nothing that was in favour of us doing this (event) because even with that, the people, they have to be comfortable, and I think it’s going to take another year.”

There have been talks since late last year of holding the popular event on the Armstrong fairgrounds, which Crerar said has been considered since the Tattoo was first held in 2014.

But now, Crerar says organizers have their sights set on 2022 and are looking at the start of the coming school year in September as a hopeful return to normal routines.

“Everybody is looking forward to getting out and giving ‘er next year.”

READ MORE: Cherryville Days cancelled by COVID for second straight year

This year was to be the year the Black Watch Cadet Force made its way from Scotland to perform at the Tattoo. Made up of brass and reed instruments and a pipe band contingent has been fundraising for the trip for two years.

“They said they need more time, so it fits in perfectly for 2022,” Crerar said.

In June 2022, Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum Jubilee celebration in England, marking her 70 years on the throne. It’s a milestone that will be celebrated throughout the Commonwealth and will colour the festivities at the next tattoo. Pipe and military bands from Calgary and Vancouver are also on the invite list for next year’s event.

This fall, with provincial and federal grants received for the now-cancelled tattoo, Crerar says the society will support pipe bands in Summerland, Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops and the Shuswap, organizing public appearances that these bands rely on for fundraising.

“They haven’t been able to raise any money for the last year and a half basically. They all need places to practice, and they have to pay for that.”

Crerar said the society will aim to firm up plans for the 2022 Tattoo in September or early October.

He also hinted that the 2023 event will have a law enforcement theme, as it coincides with the RCMP’s 150th anniversary.

READ MORE: North Okanagan outdoor theatre plans vibrant, varied season


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

CoronavirusEvents

Just Posted

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos’ Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
UPDATE: Lake Country home destroyed in massive blaze

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read