A sea of red and white at Gyro Park on Friday marked the return of Canada Day events in Penticton.
The country’s 155th birthday was celebrated with live music and performances in the park, courtesy of the Downtown Penticton Association (DPA), starting at 10 a.m.
A performance of the Okanagan song by Serenity Baptiste, a Syilx woman and proud member of the Penticton Indian Band, followed by the city concert band’s rendition of the national anthem at 12 p.m., welcomed thousands of people in the downtown core eager to take part in the festivities after a quiet last two summers.
It was a day of family fun at Gyro Park, with face painting, Hoodoo Adventure Company’s obstacle course and yoga among the featured activities. Miss Penticton candidates could also be seen handing out Canada Day-themed cupcakes throughout the day.
Live music will continue to run until 6 p.m., before the community gathers for a special fireworks show around Okanagan Lake Park later tonight.
There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate Canada’s birthday in Penticton this weekend, with the return of the Scottish Festival and Ribfest taking centre stage over the next couple of days.
Festivities in Gyro Park on Friday, meanwhile, marked the start of the new era for the DPA, who recently appointed Brett Turner as its new president.
Mayor John Vassilaki was among the speakers at Friday’s event in the park, joined by South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings and Penticton MLA Dan Ashton.