Happy official first day of autumn. Did it sneak up on you, too?
Given the cold and somewhat soggy spring we had this year, it’s no wonder it feels like summer whipped by in a flash. We didn’t have the length of hot, hot weeks we’re accustomed to, and now we’re definitely on the cusp of sweater weather.
But that means the full fall harvest is upon us, colours of the Okanagan landscapes are changing to spectacular golden hues, and several favourite autumn events are finally returning. Some have not yet emerged from the pandemic pause while others have made adjustments, but at least a handful of these should be in your calendar over the next month.
Sept. 23-25: Head to Hester Creek in Oliver for its Harvest Festival with a full schedule of vineyard tours, a wine tent, food trucks, vendors, and live music.
Sept. 24: The Similkameen Sizzle Fest takes over Memorial Park in Keremeos. Heat up at Canada’s only hot pepper festival, celebrating the more than 200 pepper varieties grown in the Similkameen.
Sept. 30-Oct.2: Oliver’s famous Festival of the Grape and Cask & Keg events return with a kick-off concert with The Trews, the infamous grape stomp, outdoor market, indoor art show, beer Olympics and a new cycling challenge called Crush the Climb.
Oct. 2: Book a ticket to the Roots and Vines Harvest Market at Ex Nihilo in Lake Country. You’ll get a glass of bubbly, canapés, live music, and a jump on holiday shopping with local vendors.
Oct. 14-22: Penticton Beer Week is packed full of events from dinners to concerts to karaoke to the Penticton Beer Run, fitting for one of Canada’s best craft beer destinations.
Oct. 21-22: OktoberFest comes to the District Wine Village near Oliver. Save the dates, tickets will be on sale soon.
Oct. 22: The Shuswap Wine Fest with Spirit returns to Salmon Arm, featuring wine, beer, cider, and distilled spirits, along with appies from local food producers.
Oct. 22: Take in Taco Vino in Kelowna and enjoy a Mexican-themed tasting event with B.C. wine, cider, spirits, and beer.
And if you’re already preparing for Thanksgiving, here’s a handful of ideas that won’t make you mess up your kitchen.
In Penticton, pre-order Thanksgiving dinner from BRODO Kitchen before it sells out, for pick-up on Oct. 7 and then to heat and serve at home at your leisure.
In Kamloops, reserve seats at a BBQ dinner on Oct. 8 at Monte Creek.
And in Okanagan Falls, book your table at See Ya Later Ranch <link https://www.exploretock.com/sylranch/> for its five-course Harvest Dinner on Oct. 8.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.