Posted on 19 September 2012 by Keith Lacey
“Ecstatic” is the only word to describe her feelings about the inaugural Osoyoos Celebrates festival weekend this past Friday to Sunday, says Destination Osoyoos executive director Jo Knight.
“That’s the only word I want to use,” she said. “All three events were sold out … and, most importantly, the amount of support from the business community and community at large was simply unbelievable.”
Destination Osoyoos was the official host and organization responsible for planning the event.
The event included a Red Carpet Soiree on Friday evening at the Spirit Ridge Resort and Spa. The event included a cocktail celebration on the patio and dinner prepared by six local restaurants and fine wine provided by seven Okanagan Valley wineries. There was also a dance and live band.
Saturday’s Lobster on the Beach event, which was sponsored and organized by the Osoyoos Rotary Club, was sold out a week in advance. More than 230 people purchased tickets with all proceeds going to the proposed splash park in Osoyoos, which is being championed by the Rotary Club.
The final event Sunday morning featured a sabre brunch on the rooftop at Spirit Ridge.
There were 140 people at the Red Carpet Soiree, more than 230 at the Lobster on the Beach and 70 at the Sunday brunch, which meant all three events reached their target for ticket sales, said Knight.
“Those were the numbers we wanted to limit the events to so those in attendance could truly enjoy the complete experience,” she said. “We weren’t willing to jam more people in and take away from the experience.
“To have all three events sold out is beyond our wildest dreams, especially for a first-time event.”
The amount of exposure this will bring to Osoyoos is incredible, said Knight.
Reporters from the Vancouver Sun attended the entire event, as did Global Television Vancouver anchor Sophie Liu, who hosted the Red Carpet Soiree. Well-known social media blogger Miss 604 also made the trip from Vancouver as did Globe and Mail Lifestyler Magazine editor Veronica Boodhan.
“We had incredible television, radio, print, social media and online presence, which is going to go a long way to bringing people from all over Canada to this event,” said Knight.
More than 70 Osoyoos and area businesses were involved in Osoyoos Celebrates in one way or another, which is her organization’s proudest achievement, she said.
“To have so much of this business community and community at large rally behind an event, which promotes everything that is great about Osoyoos, is what our organization is proudest of,” she said.
Dates for Osoyoos Celebrates for 2013 have already been set for the weekend of Sept. 13-15 next year, she said.
Her organization’s board of directors is going to hold a meeting very soon to discuss the event and consider if any changes are necessary, but, considering the response, a similar format is going to be used once again next year, she said.
Mayor Stu Wells said he was duly impressed with everything about Osoyoos Celebrates.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so romanced here in Osoyoos,” said Wells during his mayor’s report at Monday’s meeting of town council. “The Red Carpet Soiree was fantastic … it was such a special evening.”
Having the Lobster on the Beach event sold out in advance was very impressive as was the entire event, said Wells.
Not only were all three events very classy and well organized, but they attracted visitors from across the entire province and many visitors are going to rave about the event, which should ensure its success for many years to come, said Wells.