It’s been a couple years since Kelowna has celebrated Canada Day to the fullest, but this year, Festivals Kelowna is ready to bring the celebration back bigger and better than ever.
"It’s really exciting," said Kelowna mayor Colin Basran on Wednesday.
"To make this announcement today and to move forward with a full slate of festivities, it’s always been our biggest party of the year. But I think this is going to be the biggest gathering of residents not only from Kelowna but from around the region that we’ve seen in a really long time.”
In addition to celebration, Basran said Canada Day should be an opportunity for people to reflect on Canada’s history after probable grave sites of Indigenous children have been found at residential schools across the country.
“Canada’s history isn’t as bright and shiny as we have portrayed it in the past, so I still think there is reason to gather as a country, but I think more than ever it’s now time to take that moment when we do gather to reflect on not only where we come from and that we have things we need to rectify, but also how do we move forward collectively as a country?"
Canada Day in Kelowna serves as a great way to get different cultures together, and there are several big events you can’t miss, the mayor added.
“Probably my favourite things about Canada Day are the Folk Fest of course, to be able to come down and you know try different foods and see different and really cool cultural groups. And then of course fireworks. There’s going to be thousands of people down here watching the fireworks and that’s always really exciting.
Kelowna is expecting more than 60,000 people to flock into the downtown core to get together and celebrate being Canadian.
The full schedule of the day's events can be found here. Festivities kick off at 10 a.m. on July 1.