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Children's festival returns

Paging all young families: the Okanagan International Children's festival is back in town. 

This is the 11th time the festival has come to Penticton, and showcases international entertainment from Brazil, Australia and throughout Canada. 

It is being held in Okanagan Lake and Marina Way parks beside the Lakeside Resort, May 22 to 24. 

Barb Haynes, executive director of the OICF said the festival is all about exposing young people to world class entertainment.

“Often kids are injected into sports and activities at a very young age, but arts and culture is sometimes left out,” she said. “This is an opportunity for kids to see a show, make puppets, build lanterns - maybe some stuff they don’t otherwise get to do.”

The festival has returned after missing last year due to the previous executive director resigning and Rotary International dropping their sponsorship of the event. 

The festival’s $350,000 budget mostly comes from corporate and private sponsors.

“A great portion of that is services in-kind,” said Haynes. “Very generous businesses; our hoteliers, fencing, IGA - so many other supporters and they have all been amazingly generous.”

But a portion of it comes from the Friday night fundraiser, which has a bit of a twist this year.

“We have a fundraiser called Illumination. Illumination is an adult-only evening highlighting the headline entertainers,” she said. “So, you can enjoy a glass of wine, and sing ‘The Cat Came Back’ with Fred Penner - and it’s going to be awesome.”

Elaine Clark from Penticton said she has been to the festival every year it’s been in Penticton.

What are her kids looking forward to?

“Snow cones!” they said. 

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