Music in the Parks everywhere this summer

Free, outdoor entertainment

There is no pause for popular parties in public parks this summer.

Everybody loves a party. Especially when everyone is invited and when they are free.

The Sheriff and Constant Companion Carmen attended (with cycling friends) the official opening party of the Pandosy Waterfront Park in Kelowna last weekend, then the Kelowna Garden Club's annual flower show in Guisachan Gardens and then survived the huge crowds at Kelowna's massive Canada Day party.

The party (and musical) fun continues throughout July and August in numerous communities across the Southern Interior. Here's a summary.


The biggest post-Canada Day activities are in Kelowna where Festivals Kelowna has 38 free Parks Alive! concerts in 18 parks and public spaces running Tuesday through Saturday every week in July and August.

Established in 1997, Parks Alive! is an award-winning, nine-week concert series that entertains more than 22,000 guests annually. Note: Those in local parks tend to attract the neighbours, and as a result are much more intimate and relaxed.

During the next week alone:

• Valley First Community Music Tuesdays (6:30 p.m.) presents Summer Love at Quilchena Park on July 4 and Groovy Tunes at Stuart Park on July 11.

• The Wednesday Night Showcase (6 p.m. at the Island Stage in Waterfront Park) has Around the Globe on July 5 and A Night of Tributes on July 12.

• Kiwanis Family Thursdays (6 p.m.) has Feelin' the Blues at Sarsons Beach on July 6 and Soak up the Sun at Rowcliffe Park on July 13.

• PC Urban & Nicola Wealth Theme Weekends (7 p.m. at Pride Stage in Kerry Park) has Kick-Off to Summer on July 7-8 and Indie on July 14-15.

An old-fashioned guy, the Sheriff prints off the Parks Alive! schedule from the website, circles the events he is interested in and then reminds himself on his personal calendar. He became a fan after attending numerous entertaining concerts last summer.

Festivals Kelowna also has Arts on the Avenue (art demos, art sales, community art projects, live music) on Bernard Avenue from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 11 and Aug. 3 and Kelowna Made 2023 (made in Kelowna artistic, musical and recreational activities) in City Park from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 26.

West Kelowna

The City of West Kelowna will again host its free Friday night Music in the Park series at 6:30 p.m. through to Aug. 25 at the Annette Beaudreau Amphitheatre, 3737 Old Okanagan Highway. On July 7, it's a variety of live music during Westside Daze and on July 14, Indigenous songwriter and storyteller Francis Baptiste will open for indie folk/pop storyteller Celeigh Cardinal.

More information including artist bios are posted at westkelownacity.ca/musicinthepark and you can follow on Facebook at facebook.com/musicintheparkwestkelowna.

Lake Country

The District of Lake Country hosts the Live! in Lake Country free concert series at 7 p.m. every Friday night from July 7 to Aug. 25 at Swalwell Park, 10090 Bottom Wood Lake Rd.

The schedule: July 7, Cod Gone Wild; July 14, Devon Cole; July 21, Andrew Johns; July 28, Daring Greatly; Aug 4, Valdy; Aug. 11, Buddy Wackett; Aug. 18, Mazacote; and Aug. 25,Chick Jagger. More info is posted here..


The City of Vernon has posted the following events in city parks and public spaces: July 9: Sun Valley Cruise in Polson Park; July 15: Ducks for Dogs (Vernon Lions Club) in Polson Park; July 19: Mid Summer Eve of the Arts in Sovereign Park; July 22: Okanagan Sun Scrimmage in Greater Vernon Athletic Park; July 25: Military Tattoo at Kal Tire Place; Aug. 23: Kal Bowl GVAP at Greater Vernon Athletic Park; and Aug. 26: Riot on the Roof in the Downtown Parkade.

The City of Vernon's event calendar is posted here.

Tourism Vernon's event calendar is posted here. For example, the Funtastic Slo Pitch Tournament starts at 9 a.m. today (July 2) at the DND Grounds, with the Funtastic A&W Music Festival there at 7:30 p.m.


Downtown Penticton BIA presents Music in the Park at 6 p.m. on Fridays in Gyro Park, 55 Main St. The schedule: July 14, Ari Neufeld; July 21, Brent Tyler; July 28, Mandy Cole; Aug. 4, Flashback; and Aug. 18, Gordon McLaren.

PeachFest 2023, one of the largest, free family festivals in Canada, goes Aug. 9 to 13 at Okanagan Lake Park and will include: 54•40 and Doug & The Slugs on Aug. 9; Tim Hortons Country Night with Aaron Pritchett and Matt Lang on Aug. 10, Kim Mitchell and Captain Tractor on Aug. 12.


The Peachland Rotary Club has Rotary Concert in the Park with the band Easy Street 4:30-8:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 at Heritage Park.

The concert is free but the club will collect donations for Shelter Box Canada, an international humanitarian organization that provides shelter for people living in disaster areas around the world.


The Summerland Community Arts Council hosts Music in the Park at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Memorial Park downtown.

The schedule: July 5, Brent Tyler; July 12, Sound Company; July 19, Blues Hounds; July 26, Broadway Belles; Aug. 2, That Girl & Earl; Aug. 9, Timbre Wolves; Aug. 16, Rollin' Coal; Aug. 23, Chick Jagger & the Rolling Tones; and Aug. 30, The Blues Brothers with the Blues Mobile.


The Oliver Community Arts Council hosts Music in the Park at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday at the Oliver Community Bandshell. Admission is by donation, with the suggested minimum of $5. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the community hall next door.

All bands are tried-and-true audience favourites from the last six years. The schedule: July 6, Room to Dance pop duo of JC and Andy Plett; July 13, Rebel Luv’s Mikie and Ken; July 20, Lisa Salting of Naramata’s Uncorked!; July 27, The Blueshounds (also the Feed the Valley food drive); Aug. 3, Americana and folk-rock band Cliff McIntyre Band (a play on words for McIntyre Bluff); Aug. 10, Naden Band (Royal Canadian Navy) with the Naval Security Team exhibiting a ridged hull inflatable boat and other displays; Aug. 17, Sister Soul backed by Rattler’s Band; and Aug. 24, rocker Steve Jones and his 'Patio Bandits.'


The 2023 Osoyoos Music in the Park series is at 6:30 p.m. on Friday nights through Sept. 1 at the Osoyoos Bandshell in Gyro Park. The schedule: July 7, Yard Katz; July 14, Cod Gone Wild; Aug. 4, Rob Rowan Band; Aug. 11, Naden Band; and Sept. 1, Sister Soul backed by Rattler’s Band. The renowned Osoyoos Street Dance Party returns and moves to Gyro Park at 7 p.m. on July 15 and Aug. 19.


The City of Kamloops hosts Music in the Park at 7 p.m. every night through Aug. 31 at Riverside Park Rotary Bandshell with a variety of blues, rock, classics, country and tribute bands. This signature summer classic has been a part of Kamloops’ cultural and entertainment scene since 1994. The schedule is posted here.

The schedule for the next week: July 2, West Coast Slackers, country rock; July 3, Soul Patch, funky world music; July 4, Beyond Brass, big band; July 5, Totally Twain, Shania Twain tribute; July 6, Angie Heinze Band, pop rock; July 7, Blue Voodoo, rock; July 8, BC Top, ZZ Top tribute; and July 9, The Yale County Band, jug music.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

J.P. Squire arrived in the Okanagan Valley from flatland Chatham, Ont. in the middle of the night in the spring of 1980. Waking up in the Highway 97 motel, he looked across the then-four-lane roadway at Mount Baldy and commented: "Oh my God, there's mountains." Driving into downtown Kelowna, he exclaimed: "Oh my God, there's a lake."

The rest is history. After less than a month in Kelowna, he concluded: "I'm going to live here for a long time." And he did.

Within weeks and months, he was hiking local hillsides, playing rec hockey at Memorial Arena and downhill skiing at Big White Ski Resort. After purchasing a hobby farm in the Glenmore Valley in 1986, he bought the first of many Tennessee Walking Horses. After meeting Constant Companion Carmen in 1999, he bought two touring kayaks and they began exploring Interior lakes and B.C.'s coast.

The outdoor recreation column began with downhill ski coverage every winter as the Ski Sheriff but soon progressed to a year-round column as the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff.

His extensive list of contacts in Okanagan outdoor recreation clubs, organizations and groups means a constant flow of emails about upcoming events and activities which will be posted on Castanet every Sunday.

You can email the Sheriff at: [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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