Roaring reception welcomes Rotary Okanagan Children’s Festival

10th annual Rotary Okanagan International Children’s Festival at Okanagan Lake Park in Penticton.

Entertainer Mike Battie impresses the young crowd with his fire-baton juggling prowess at the outside stage during the first day of the Children's Festival.

Entertainer Mike Battie impresses the young crowd with his fire-baton juggling prowess at the outside stage during the first day of the Children's Festival.

It’s a face only a mother and several hundred kids could love.

Dinosaurs from Erth’s Petting Zoo kicked off the main-stage performances at Thursday morning’s start to the 10th annual Rotary Okanagan International Children’s Festival at Okanagan Lake Park.

“I liked it a lot, it was really great and I wasn’t scared not even when T-rex came out,” said seven-year-old Koston Ellis after he and the others in the sold-out show were stampeded out the tent doors by the large carnivore. “I got to pet the medium-size dinosaur and the large dragon fly landed on my fist. If you lie and are bad it will suck the brains right out of your head.”

The Uplands Elementary student agreed the experiences made him even more interested in dinosaurs and added he planned to take the Erth MC’s advice about digging up the “neighbour’s” yard to search for fossils.

Shaking her head, mom Lindsay Ellis admitted she also enjoyed the show.

“I just couldn’t get over how real they (dinosaurs) were, I almost forgot they were puppets,” she said afterwards.

The Petting Zoo is just one of the main-stage shows featured during the three days of the festival which runs until Saturday.

The always popular Bobs and Lolo, Breakdance for Solo Cello, Elage Diouf and the Mat Velvet and Charlie Show round out the headline acts.

In addition to the two tents, there is also an open-air stage, travelling performers and a wide variety of other activities and displays.

Samantha Hickey who emcees the Erth adventure says her dinosaurs are loved by kids every where they go but there is another more real element to the show.

“It’s exciting for them but there is also the absolute terror in their eyes and that’s an honest reaction from the kids,” she said following the performance.  “It’s quite magical for us to watch from on stage.

“That interest in dinosaurs by kids has always been there but this is a show that’s now tangible for kids on a different level they’ve never seen before. After all they get to pet and feed dinosaurs which is such a rarity.”

She added it is not uncommon for she and others in the group to learn things they didn’t know about the creatures who roamed the earth long ago from their young audience members.

One person particularly happy with the start of the festival was Conrad Burek, the new executive director who took over from Gord Osland.

“It’s a full year in planning this and it’s our 10th anniversary and as you can see we’ve got kids filing in, so seeing this today puts it in perspective again,” he said. “It’s easy to get caught up in all the details and you always have to remind yourself why you’re doing it and I’m just so stoked to be part of something that offers this kind of entertainment to kids in this area.”

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read