The warm and dry South Okanagan climate draws local and foreign tourists to spend their vacations here. It also allows many vineyards to thrive in this region, thereby allowing a variety of world-class wines to be produced locally. The beautiful panoramic views, the numerous charming villages, as well as a wide array of exciting and exhilarating activities to engage in motivate travelers to stay the night, the weekend or for a vacation for a little bit longer, tasting what the valley has to offer.
The South Okanagan area also plays host to an assortment of events all year long so that visitors never run out of interesting activities to try, wonderful events to partake in, and adventures to experience.
Here are some of the most interesting South Okanagan events a tourist might want to mark in their calendars, if they happen to be planning a trip to the region. In case a trip is not looming anytime soon, this is also a great guide for those who are plotting down their travel adventure for next year.
Oliver Festival of the Grape and Other Wine Festivals
It is probably not surprising that the South Okanagan plays host to numerous wine festivals, after all the many vineyards and their world renowned wines are more than enough reason to be merry and name an assortment of festivals in their honor. The many wonderful wines are the reasons that put the South Okanagan on the map. One of these festivals is the Oliver Festival of the Grape, a family-friendly wine event that started in 1997. Every October, Okanagan's wineries and restaurants pair up to serve food and drinks to cater to the crowd.
The Okanagan Wine Festival features more wine and dine pairings for the festival goersâ€™ pleasure. The Winter Festival of Wine happens every January while the Spring Wine Festival is celebrated during the first ten days of May. The Fall Wine Festival, on the other hand, takes place between September and October The festival stretches from Osoyoos to Vernon and extends to the northern end of Lake Okanagan. There are also numerous activities that take place in Penticton.
Penticton Elvis Festival
Probably one of the more unique festivals in the South Okanagan area is the Elvis Festival that takes place during the latter part of June. This event brings together the best impersonators of Elvis Presley. It is something any traveler would love to participate in, especially those Elvis Presley fanatics, where they can enjoy great reminiscent music by the King of Rock and Roll.
This festival is probably the summer counterpart to the South Okanagan's Fall Wine Festival. Hosted in early April, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is a two day festival where local breweries are paired with local restaurants and highlight their palatable wares. Free beer is overflowing and a lot of locals volunteer for the event.
The infamous festival has long evolved into becoming a festival for the whole family. The Peachfest, which takes place in August, is one of the more family friendly events in the South Okanagan area. This is an event that families traveling with children will enjoy. Among the interesting activities during this festival are live entertainment, arts and crafts exhibits, unlimited food and drinks, beautiful parades, and electrifying fireworks displays.
Beach Blanket Film Festival
Another unique festival hosted in Penticton is the Beach Blanket Film Festival. This event takes place in late July and invites people to enjoy the beach to the fullest by laying down a blanket and enjoying a picnic while watching films on a floating screen in Okanagan Lake. This should be a very interesting festival to participate in especially for those who are travelling with their families and friends.
Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival
This music festival in Pentiction aims to bring together an assortment of different Jazz music. Taking place in mid September of each year, the Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival showcases live Jive, Swing, Dixieland, as well as an assortment of other Jazz performers.
Peach City Beach Cruise
The festival that takes place in the latter part of June is something the car and racing enthusiasts will appreciate. Those who love exhilarating adventure will also find this festival of interest. This festival brings together more than 400 hot rods and other classic cars from North America. The streets are usually closed to regular traffic so the spectators can have an up close view of the amazing cars.