• Home
  • /
  • News
  • /


Posted on Mar 11, 2019

Downtown Vernon Events Draw Crowds | Downtown Vernon

Sunshine Festival 2018
Sunshine Festival - Downtown Vernon

It’s almost spring time and with warmer weather and longer days, we come out of hibernation with a craving for spending time outside with family and friends. We can’t think of a better way to enjoy these days than with one of the many events that happen downtown:

Free Parking Days are downtown-wide customer appreciation days which increase pedestrian traffic throughout the downtown core. In the spring and fall dates, there are live buskers and mini-events to keep shoppers interested. Businesses are encouraged to pull their sale items onto the sidewalk to contribute to a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. March 2, May 4, October 5 and December 7.

Sunshine Festival is downtown’s premier event and the largest of its kind in the North Okanagan attracting over 150 vendors and almost 15,000 people. The festival celebrates local culture and community through two live stages, over 25 food trucks, children’s activities, sports, a beer garden and a community showcase. The festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019. June 15.

Civic Sounds is a weekly, free outdoor concert series held at Civic Plaza attracting 800-1200 people every week. The concert features the region’s biggest bands, intermission performances and three food vendors per week (Eat to the Beat). Every Thursday from 6-8 in July and August.

Try It @ Justice Park is downtown’s newest event aimed at the health and wellness sector. This weekly, free outdoor event features various drop-in classes instructed by downtown businesses on the grass at Justice Park. Every Wednesday from 12-1:30 in July and August.

Throughout the shorter and colder days of the fall and winter, downtown remains alive with a variety of staple events attracting more than 12,000 people:

Treat Trail is a downtown-wide celebration of Halloween. This annual event attracts almost 5000 people for a trick-or-treat trail throughout the downtown core Over 80 businesses participate. October 31.

Light Up is Greater Vernon’s unofficial kick-off to the holiday season held right here in the heart of Vernon. This free community event attracts almost 7000 people to downtown for attractions like a massive bonfire, Santa Claus, a community showcase, holiday shopping, children’s activities and of course Vernon’s ‘Legacy Tree’. November 30.

UnWined is the ultimate ladies’ night out featuring 10-12 businesses who have teamed up with wineries, breweries and distilleries to offer ticket holders a night of shopping, alcohol and food tasting. 250 tickets sold out in 5 hours in 2018. February 6.

Chili Cook-Off is a chili competition between 9+ restaurants who think they have the recipe to win over the taste buds of locals. Over 450 ticket holders take to the streets of downtown tasting chili and vote for their favourites.