Posted on 01 August 2012 by Keith Lacey
A weekend celebration featuring great food, wine, entertainment and music is hoping to attract large local crowds as well as residents from all over British Columbia.
The first-ever Osoyoos Celebrates event will be held Friday, Sept. 14 to Sunday, Sept. 16.
“This will be a celebration to recognize this community and everything it has to offer as one of the premier tourist destinations in the province,” said Danielle Callens, who has been hired by Destination Osoyoos to help organize and promote the Osoyoos Celebrates party.
Honouring the wine, food and authentic culture of this distinctive community, the festival provides the opportunity to truly celebrate the town’s epicurean heroes; the passionate winemakers, talented chefs and dedicated farmers that bring unparalleled produce and an abundance of flavours to our tables throughout the year, said Destination Osoyoos executive director Jo Knight.
“Osoyoos Celebrates is a salutation of all that Osoyoos is; a wealth of rich culture, world-class wines and tasting rooms and a commanding culinary community, all under the warmth of the South Okanagan sun,” said Knight.
“We are thrilled to be the host organization in partnership with beneficiary Rotary Club of Osoyoos and look forward to sharing Canada’s warmest welcome.”
The weekend celebration will kick off on Friday evening with a Red Carpet Soiree, featuring food prepared by several of the town’s best chefs and locally produced wine up at the Spirit Ridge Resort and Spa, said Callens.
“The evening will feature the best in culinary fare from this community and at least five wineries are already on board to showcase the best in local wine,” said Callens. “We’re also working on finalizing the entertainment for an evening of great food, wine and music.”
Saturday’s main event is a lobster fest, which is being organized by the Rotary Club of Osoyoos, to be held under a giant tent at Gyro Beach.
Proceeds from this event will be split between the new splash park being built in Osoyoos, which is being sponsored by the Rotary Club, and the South Okanagan Children’s Foundation, said Callens.
The weekend celebration wraps up Sunday morning with a Sparkling Sabre Brunch, where participants will try their hand at opening their favourite bottle of wine with a sabre, said Callens.
A site for this event will be finalized in the next couple of weeks.
Staff from Destination Osoyoos have been organizing the event for more than two months and are expecting very good response from the community and tourists from across the province, said Callens.
“We’re hopeful there will be a lot of local interest, but we also expect a lot of people from the coast will want to take part as well,” she said. “This is the time of year when a lot of tourists come to Osoyoos to golf and participate in wine tours and it’s the time of year where wine season is in full bloom, so we believe there is going to be a very good response.
“We’re looking at this as an end-of-summer celebration as well as an unofficial kickoff party to wine season in Osoyoos. September is a great month in Osoyoos with wine season starting and the beautiful weather still here and we hope this can become an annual event everyone really looks forward to.”
A total of 200 tickets will be available for each of the three events and organizers are hoping a large majority of tickets will be sold to people who want to participate in all three events and will be looking at purchasing weekend packages, she said.
‘”There will be individual tickets for all three events, but if you purchase the weekend festival pass for $150, we believe that’s a terrific deal and hope most of the tickets will be sold that way,’ she said.
Organizers are hoping to find two gold corporate sponsors and numerous silver and bronze corporate sponsors over the next month, she said.
“Join us as we celebrate everything that makes Osoyoos an extraordinary destination,” she said. “That includes the food, the wine, the orchards, the desert, the lakes, and, of course, the legendary hospitality.”
Individual tickets are $85 for the Red Carpet Soiree, $65 for the Lobster on the Beach event and $35 for the Sparkling Sabre Brunch. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.osoyooscelebrates.ca.