Wakefest 2009 not happening

Wakefest will not be returning to Kelowna this summer.

The popular wakeboarding event had been a mainstay in Kelowna for seven years, until City Council cancelled the event in 2008.

It was scheduled to return this summer under a new name, the "Canadian Wakeboard Festival."

Organizers have now informed the city that due to scheduling conflicts with a number of international pro wakeboarding events, the event will not return this summer.

Danny Fritz, Senior Director of Events with IMG Canada, says the promoters had looked forward to returning to Kelowna in August.

"Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts will prevent the event from being able to return this year,” says Fritz.

"We will continue to explore opportunities with all of the parties involved in the hopes that the event might be able to return in 2010.”

City Sports and Facilities Program Manager, Don Backmeyer, says Kelowna does remain supportive of the event returning in the future.

"We look forward to working with IMG to make its return in 2010 a reality," says Backmeyer.

Wakefest was not granted an event permit for 2008 after it fell victim to increased rowdiness and public drunkenness.

IMG was unable to find an alternate location for the 2008 event.

The city did leave the door open for future events if organizers were willing to meet certain conditions, including date and name changes, marketing and entertainment changes and reduced event and beer garden hours.

IMG had agreed to all the changes.

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