Nicolle Rabbit (left) and Czarina Wisse keep cranking out the chili at the Station BBQ Cookhouse as they take part in the Kiss FM Downtown Vernon Chili Cook Off Saturday.

Carnival of Rock and Roll drums up a hit

Vernon Winter Carnival rolled out a rockin’ year with more than 90 events beginning Feb. 6

Elvis has left the building, but rock and roll Carnival will go down in history as one of the best in its 55 years.

Vernon Winter Carnival rolled out a rockin’ year with more than 90 events beginning Feb. 6 and wrapping up Sunday.

“It was a good week,” said Diana Williamson, Carnival executive director.

So good in fact, that the 55th Carnival rocked its way into the record books.

“We had 14 events sell out for tickets, we haven’t heard of that before,” said Williamson.

The North Okanagan’s enthusiasm, whether it was individual participation or business involvement, was exceptional. Including the close to 300 volunteers who came forward to make it all happen.

“I love Vernon,” said Williamson.

“It blows me away the community support, every year.”

Even as winter turned to a drizzle for the first weekend of Carnival, putting a damper on some events, the community still showed its support.

“That (weather) didn’t stop people from coming out,” said Williamson, as crowds flocked to Polson Park for the twinkle show despite the balloons not being able to inflate for the glow, and then the streets were still lined for a rainy-day parade.

And the rock and roll theme was well embraced, with Elvis sightings all around town, Kiss crowds and jukebox junkies.

“This year was a huge hit, the theme,” said Williamson, turned rocker girl for 10 days.

Now the community is urged to get their suggestions in by the end of February for next year’s theme.

“We will making a decision early March,” said Williamson, who will be taking decisions via e-mail and at the Carnival office.

Awards presentations will also take place early March.

Further into the spring some new faces will be needed on the Carnival board of directors as some are retiring.

Anyone interested in joining the board, one of the many event committees or just lending a hand next year can contact the Carnival office at 250-545-2236 or email


Vernon Morning Star

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