There won’t be a midway, but this year’s Westside Daze, which runs Friday through Sunday, will offer wrestling and the inaugural Canadian Grand Prix of CycleKarts along with traditional favourites such as the parade, kids’ fair and fireworks.
Most of the Westside Daze action takes place at Memorial Park by the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre, including entertainment, food trucks and vendors.
The three-day festival filled with free family entertainment typically draws up to 35,000 people.
For the first time in more than 40 years, Westside Daze is not being held in conjunction with Canada Day festivities, as organizers moved the dates in an unsuccessful bid to attract a midway.
Leah Thordarson, president of the Westside Celebration Society, the group of volunteers who present Westside Daze, said they are still negotiating to try to bring a midway to the Westside in August.
CycleKarts, single-driver go-cart-type cars modelled after race cars from the 1920s and ’30s, will be making their first appearance at Westside Daze.
Highlights include a simulation of a 1920s European Grand Prix following Saturday’s parade and drag-race exhibitions down Brown Road from 2 to 4 p.m.
Also new this year is Big West Wrestling, which will provide one-hour shows at 2:30 and 6 p.m. Saturday.
Free entertainment starts after Friday’s opening ceremonies at 6:45 p.m. at the Annette Beaudreau Amphitheatre, with the Cover 2 Cover band at 7 p.m., followed by Supernatural Experience, a Santana tribute band, at 8 p.m.
At 10 p.m., the Kinshira Fire Troupe will light up the night with its fire-juggling performance.
Saturday night’s entertainment will see the Timbre Wolves opening at 7 p.m., followed by West Kelowna favourite Ben Klick at 8 p.m.
Shoppers can browse the night market and trunk sale that run from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
There will be traffic interruptions Saturday morning for the Westside Daze parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Butt Road and Old Okanagan Highway, heads south along Old Okanagan Highway, turns right on Drought Road and right again on Brown Road. It ends at the corner of Brown and Butt roads, with the Wet Zone in the final block.
People are encouraged to bring a donation for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank. Members of the West Kelowna Warriors hockey team will be along the parade route, collecting donations.
After the parade, the Warriors will be in the dunk tank at the kids’ fair that runs from noon to 4 p.m. at Memorial Park with activities such as a climbing wall, bouncy castle and giant carnival games. All activities are free.
Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m., is also Sukanaqin Sxelxalt, which celebrates Syilx heritage including drumming, a powwow dance demonstration, living history display as well as arts and crafts.
Everyone is invited as Westside churches gather together at the Annette Beaudreau Amphitheatre Sunday morning for a giant gospel celebration.
People can vote for their favourite vehicle at the Show N Shine, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Westside Daze is a free event thanks to support from the business community, government grants and fundraisers such as the Westside Daze draw.
The draw’s grand prize this year is tickets for two anywhere WestJet flies. Second prize is a pendant necklace from J.K. Schmidt Jewellers, and third prize is a choice of a men’s or women’s watch from J.K. Schmidt Jewellers. Tickets cost $5 each, and 3,000 are available.
To get to Westside Daze, people can park on the field beside the A & W on Carrington Court and walk over to the festival.
Those who need assistance getting down to the field can park in the handicap parking at the Johnson-Bentley pool, and volunteers will shuttle them over to the park in a golf cart. No handicap parking placard is needed.
Westside Daze is a rain-or-shine event. Bring a lawn chair, water, sunscreen and bug spray.
For a complete listing of events, go online to westsidedaze.ca/schedule.