Countdown to Carnival begins

58th annual Vernon Winter Carnival runs Feb. 2-11

Decked out in a platinum blond wig with bone-coloured strapless evening gown with silver trim, Deb White portrayed herself as the Ice Queen.

White, the chairperson for the 58th annual Vernon Winter Carnival, donned full costume as the countdown to Carnival launched Tuesday at the Fairfield Marriott.

The theme for this year’s Carnival, which runs Feb. 2-11, is Carnival in Wonderland.

“Costumes are always encouraged for Carnival,” said White. “There are many themes or takes for Carnival in Wonderland. I took on Winter Wonderland.”

Joined by Carnival executive director Vicki Proulx – dressed as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland – and several Mad Hatter-adorned board members, White told the crowd that as Carnival approaches, four events are already sold out.

Those include Suds and Cider, the Downtown Vernon Association’s Unwined Downtown, and two events sponsored by Teassential: Origami and Tea and a Tea Blending Workshop.

Most of the events that require tickets, said White, are about 75 per cent sold.

There are more than 45 free events, and 14 new events this year, including the Mother/Daughter Tea in Wonderland, Battle of the Bands, Predator Ridge Parka Party and Lego Build and Lunch.

One of the biggest changes is the moving of the 27th annual North Okanagan Hot Air Balloon Fiesta to the second weekend.

“Normally we help start off the Carnival but we’re moving it to the Family Day weekend this year,” said event spokesperson David Gleed. “We’ll have 14 balloons taking part this year. We hope to be tethered in Polson Park, weather permitting. If not, the alternate site is the north parking lot at the Village Green Hotel.”

The annual Winter Carnival parade will take place Saturday, Feb. 3, at noon along the usual route: south along 27th Street from MacDonald Park to 30th Avenue, west on 30th to 31st Street and north along 31st to the Civic Arena.

“We have 50 entries for the parade but the entry deadline is this Friday (Jan. 12),” said Proulx. “We encourage lots of floats to go with the theme, and we hope people will come and show their community spirit.”

A complete list of events can be found in the Vernon Winter Carnival brochure, now available at local outlets, or the Winter Carnival office on 35th Avenue, or on the Carnival’s website: www.vernonwintercarnival.com.

One event not listed in the brochure is the Mystic A-Fair psychic fair and more, set for Saturday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Schubert Centre. Admission is $2.

Outgoing Queen Silver Star Jordynne Tomiak and Princess Meghan Townley addressed the crowd, thanking the Winter Carnival for an amazing year as Vernon ambassadors.

The coronation of Queen Silver Star LVIII will take place Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Schubert Centre.

The seven candidates vying for the title will be taking part in the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program’s Mad Hatter Tea and Talent Party Sunday at the Schubert Centre. Doors open at 12:15 p.m. and the event starts at 1 p.m.

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