Posted on 11 April 2012 by admin
For those citizens fortunate enough to have lived in Osoyoos 15 and 20 years ago, there’s no doubt they still have fond memories of hot summer nights spent watching excellent horse racing at the Desert Park Equestrian Centre.
A small group of concerned citizens have gathered together to try and return the facility to its former glory days by forming the Desert Park Exhibition Society. A total of 36 members have contributed $1,000 apiece to form the society, which is in the process of finalizing non-profit status.
Once non-profit status is obtained, the society will be able to go after provincial and federal funding to complete several projects needed as part of a massive upgrade to the facility, said society board chair Carol Youngberg.
Youngberg hit the nail right on the head when she said “this facility is too valuable an asset to this town and for the residents of Osoyoos to ignore any longer. This site has the potential to be great once again and we have every intention of doing everything we can to upgrade the facility over the coming months and years.”
The vision to upgrade Desert Park into a facility everyone in the community will want to use and be proud of isn’t going to happen overnight, but with a large amount of community support, there’s no reason this vision can’t become a reality.
The new board is sponsoring a community open house the evening of May 1 at the Sonora Centre to detail its plans to renovate and upgrade the facility, announce its current budget, long-term plans over the next several years and to answer questions from the general public.
A concerted effort to upgrade the horse stalls over the past couple of years has proven successful as almost all of the stalls have been leased by horse trainers this spring.
The upgrades to the barns are the first step forward in a plan to upgrade the entire facility over the next two-to- three years.
Having live horse racing, medium and small concerts and events like barrel racing and rodeos are just some of the regular events that will be held once the facility upgrade is completed.
We urge all citizens to attend the community open house on May 1 and get behind the committee that has worked so hard over the past several months to put plans in place to upgrade a facility that once was such a shining light for Osoyoos.