Oliver Sunshine Festival Gearing Up for July

The 6th Annual Oliver Sunshine Festival is now less than two months away, taking place July 7-9 at Oliver Community Park.

Kicking off the weekend’s festivities on Thursday July 7 will be the 3rd annual “Uncork the Sun” wine tasting event, a fundraiser for the Sunshine Festival presented by the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association and Oliver Tourism Association.

This ticketed event will feature tastings of several local wines as well as beer from the Firehall Brewery, live music from contemporary rock band Rumble100 and the one-of-a-kind “Top Dog” culinary competition pitting local chefs against one another to create the best signature hot dog.

Tickets will go on sale June 6 at the Oliver Community Centre and online.

The Oliver Sunshine Festival will run 5-11 p.m. Friday July 8 and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday July 9 featuring a full schedule of free family friendly entertainment in the park and on the community stage.

Children will love the “Under the Sea” Kids Zone presented by Fun4Life including a petting zoo, inflatables, craft tent, sand tent, face painting, sumo wrestling suits and more. Fun4Life is bringing in some new water-based activities perfect for a summer festival including additional inflatable waterslides and water walking balls, large inflatable spheres that allow a person to get inside and walk across the water’s surface.

Vancouver based company West Coast Amusements, who have been a part of the event since 2012, will unfortunately not be in Oliver this summer.

“West Coast Amusements has informed us that due to the recent passing of one of the owners, they will not be returning to the South Okanagan, says festival organizer Natalie Korsovetski. “While we are disappointed and hope in future years to once again have midway rides as part of the festival, the event still has so many activities to offer families and the music is going to be fantastic.”

The main stage entertainment over the weekend has something for everyone. Friday night’s lineup presented by Buy-Low Foods will feature local singer/songwriter Aimee Grice, Vancouver’s Kyler Schogen and his guitar-based feel good band with groove oriented, catchy, bluesy pop/rock tunes and from Kelowna the 5-piece “fun/folk rock” band Wild Son.

After an extremely successful first run in 2015, the Oliver’s Got Talent Show featuring youth aged 8-14 will happen Saturday afternoon following the parade. Auditions for the show will take place at the Oliver Community Centre on Saturday, June 25th starting at 9 a.m.

Saturday’s main stage entertainment presented by the Rotary Club of Oliver starts off with the return of a community favourite Bobby Bovenzi and the Nankama drumming and dance group.

Penticton’s own Flashback will get people on their feet with their songs from the 60’s and 70’s, followed by Vancouver’s indie-rock group Terence Jack.

To close out the festival with some fun dance tunes be sure to stay for the set from Oliver’s own DJ Mast3rblast3r.

Also part of the entertainment plan is some yoga, Zumba in the park, the annual Cherry Pie eating contest and a loonie swim at the Oliver Pool.

For a full listing of the festival entertainment please visit www.oliverrecreation.ca/oliver-sunshine-festival.

The annual Sunshine Festival Parade will take place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. down Main Street.

Parade entries are now being accepted and the deadline to enter the parade is June 30th. Organizers are hoping to reach 50 entries, matching participation of previous years. We have enjoyed all kinds of entries in the past, everything from classic cars to traditional floats to decorated golf carts to groups walking together.

All local clubs, businesses and groups are encouraged to be a part of this fun event. Those looking to enter can download the Parade entry form from the forms page of the Oliver Parks and Recreation website at www.oliverrecreation.ca.

The organizing committee is still looking for volunteers to assist with several different areas, primarily security and the Kids Zone.

Volunteer shifts are only 3-4 hours and is a great way to enjoy the event while giving back to your community. Anyone interested in volunteering for the festival is asked to contact Natalie Korsovetski, at natalie@oliverrecreation.ca or 250-498-4985.

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