The Okanagan Valley is, of course, famous for its wineries and two popular festivals draw thousands to sip and sup. But there’s so much more on tap, including the annual Fest of Ale, featuring locally made craft beer and cider, car shows, jazz festivals, Dragon Boat races, even an Elvis Festival, featuring dozens of tribute artists.
Food, Drink & Fun in the Sun…
The premier events of the region launched first as a fall festival, which then expanded to include a spring festival, and has now grown to a four-season celebration of Okanagan wines and wineries:
Spring Festival — June 2 – 12
Summer Festival — TBA
Fall Festival – End of September to Early October
Winter Festival — January 22 – 28
April 14, 15
The 26th annual festival draws 65 craft brewers and more than 5,000 beer-lovers to one of the largest and longest running festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Sample 175 craft beers, as well as cask ales and craft ciders, accompanied by live entertainment and delicious dishes served up by local restaurateurs
May 19 – 22
Join prominent naturalists, painters, biologists, ecologists, geologists, cultural leaders and photographers for guided tours over wetland, grassland and alpine meadow to teach about the diversity of the Okanagan Similkameen.
June 22 – 25
Get all shook up as dozens of tribute artists descend on outdoor stages around Okanagan Lake to celebrate the life and music of the king of rock and roll while competing for the crown of best impersonator. Thank you, thank you very much.
June 23 – 25
Motor down to the Magic Mile of Lakeshore Drive for this premier rod, antique and classic car show. The weekend kicks off with a wine tour, followed by a parade of show cars, outdoor concerts, vendors, food and a beverage garden.
Organized by the Rotary Club, champion barbecue teams from across Canada compete for best ribs. Live music & entertainment, beverage garden and lots of vendors.
August 9 – 13
Since its fuzzy inception in 1947 to celebrate the peach harvest in Penticton, the festival has grown to include a parade, bin races, slo-pitch tournament, square dances, film festival and a sandcastle competition. Oh, and some peaches.
September 8 – 10
A dozen world-class bands perform at five venues on four dance floors around the city to a cool crowd (70 percent from out of town) of about 3,000. In addition to the smooth tunes, money is raised for school music programs.
Dinner & live entertainment in a funky cool venue with a great vibe. Blues, Jazz, Rock, R&B, Folk and even spoken word. Buy tickets in advance at www.thedreamcafe.ca
The cycle of fun continues as the 11th annual epic ride through Okanagan wine country attracts participants who either free-wheel through the day on the 55-km challenge, or go the distance through 160 km of rigorous track.
This is the province’s oldest continuously held triathlon. The event features sprint and standard tri-distance races.
August 5 – 7
This grueling, three-day, 520-km ultra-endurance event starts with a 10-km swim, followed by a 150-km bike ride, followed by another 275-km bike ride, and ending with an 84-km run.
The first North American IRONMAN was born in Penticton in 1983. Known as one of the world’s premier triathlon host communities, Penticton is a bucket list destination for IRONMAN athletes from around the world looking to experience the iconic course and stunning landscapes.
Sept 9, 10
Over 2,500 racers push off from the sandy shores of 11-km long Skaha Lake to compete for two qualifying heats before the Sunday afternoon finals. Spectators watch from a large grassy area while enjoying great food, a beverage garden, and a variety of vendors.