Known as one of Canada’s most liveable cities, with its lush vineyards and beautiful lake, Kelowna never fails to impress. Its incredible lakeside location sets the stage for some equally awesome events that will help you soak up the scenery in style. This city is filled to the brim with action, adventure, and some truly unique social experiences.
Here’s a list of some of Kelowna’s best events that are well worth booking a trip for.
Okanagan Wine Festivals
Think grapes. Delicious liquid grapes.
If you like the sound of that then you’ll love sipping Kelowna’s finest wines, and handpicking your favourites to bring home and share with your friends. The Okanagan Wine Festivals consists of a variety of wine soirées for both spring (April 28 – May 8), and fall (September 29 – October 9).
One of the most popular events is the Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine hosted at the boutique Hotel Eldorado. Sip on a plethora of different wines and gorge yourself on grilled cheese sandwiches with zero shame in all your Canadian glory. There are several different events to choose from, but this one will never get old.
Great Okanagan Beer Festival
Sunshine and beer bring out the best in each other, hence the Great Okanagan Beer Festival. Similar to the sell-out Whistler Village Beer Festival, this sister event lets you admire the beautiful Okanagan Lake beaches of Kelowna’s Waterfront Park while tasting beer from more than 40 breweries across the world. The three-day lakeside festival takes place from May 12 – May 14 and includes a slew of different activities. Fun fact: this year the Great Okanagan Beer Festival expects to pour about 3,000 drinks. So make sure you get your tickets.
Diner en Blanc
Keep your day clear for Kelowna’s Dîner en Blanc on July 7. You’ll join a beautiful crowd of people dressed in white, surrounded by immaculate decorations, elegance, and an overall chic picnic in an iconic public space. Arrive to a mystery location via school buses where you’ll enjoy the picturesque and magical night as it unfolds.
The Mackenzie Tour–PGA TOUR Canada’s GolfBC Championship
The Mackenzie Tour–PGA TOUR Canada is coming to Kelowna with a new event for 2016, the GolfBC Championship. The event will be taking place June 6-12 at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club, a 6,802-yard Bill Robinson design that is considered to be one of the top courses in the Okanagan Valley. GolfBC, which owns and operates a collection of world-class courses – including Gallagher’s Canyon – will be the title sponsor. Golf fans won’t want to miss this opportunity to see the roster of up and coming talent on the path to the PGA TOUR. The highly anticipated event will focus on making a positive charitable impact in the Kelowna area, with designated charity beneficiary being the BC Cancer Foundation.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Feast of Fields
Feast of Fields is the largest farmers’ market in British Columbia. Show up on August 14 to taste the riches of Kelowna’s fantastic agriculture. Buy fresh gourmet goods from the city’s culinary geniuses and dedicated farmers. Choose from a wide variety of tours, farm gate sales, ciders, and apple juices for an unforgettable foray into the city’s selection of fresh ingredients.
Even if you’re just visiting Kelowna for a few days, you’ll feel like you’re a resident during Parks Alive! These community-centric events take place 5 days a week in July & August, and feature artists from a variety of different musical genres. What’s better is that admission is free – and the concerts take place in the gorgeous parks and beaches around the city. Check out the Parks Alive! lineup by clicking here for the calendar.
Center of Gravity
Center of Gravity is the Okanagan’s biggest adrenaline-fueled sports and music festival. Slated for July 8 – July 10, the festival is set on the shores of Okanagan Lake in Kelowna’s downtown City Park. Expect a weekend filled with sports, sandy beaches, and bikinis paired with the industry’s biggest EDM, hip hop and live music names.
The Okanagan Pride Festival
Held from August 6 – August 13, this year’s Okanagan Pride Festival will carry on its tradition of honouring the LGBTQ community with performances, music, events, and activities for the entire family. Invite your friends along for this fun-filled week and wear colourful clothes to celebrate unity, freedom, and diversity.
The Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon is hosted by Destination Races, an organization that plans half marathons alongside beautiful vineyards. Slated for September 4, participants can expect an expansive race along a scenic course that begins in the vineyards of East Kelowna thru to the bench above the lake that boasts immaculate views of the lake, downtown area, and surrounding mountains. After reaching the finish line, celebrate your hard work in Waterfront Park at the Wine and Music Festival. Click here to register.
Looking for more information? Keep tabs on the Okanagan’s best activities by checking out Tourism Kelowna.