5 Things to Know About the Vernon Winter Carnival

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The Vernon Winter Carnival is a continuing tradition that brings the community together and keeps everyone connected through shared and memorable experiences. From February 3 to 12, 2023, enjoy over a hundred events from the legendary parade and ice sculpture competition to dining, dancing, games, and fun for the whole family. As you plan around your Carnival calendar, here are a few things to know:

Vernon Winter Carnival
Balloon Glow – Vernon Winter Carnival Photo Submitted

Learn more from FestivalSeekers how has all of the details, and some great stories about the Carnival and don’t miss out on the Carnival Raffle. There are over $28,000 in prizes up for grabs in support of the festival and its legacy, enter today and experience the best of Vernon all year round!

5 Things to Know About the Vernon Winter Carnival

1. The first Winter Carnival in Vernon was held on Long Lake (Kalamalka Lake) February 23, 1893 and the first annual Carnival (as we know it today) was held January 27 to February 5, 1961. You can read about the early days of the festival in this interview I did for FestivalSeekers.

2. What is a Jopo? As in the Jopo Swim at the Vernon Aquatic Centre on February 5th. Jopo (and Jopette) is a made-up name for Carnival jesters first introduced in 1966.

3. The first Polar Bear Swim was in 1976. You can join this year’s Polar Bear Swim on February 11th at Paddlewheel Hall, and don’t miss the Polar Bear Market happening there as well.

4. The Carnival has had many unique events over the years, like Jam Can Curling, and they continue to come up with fun and innovative activities. New events this year include Bubble Tea Making Class, Pokemon Habitats, a Snowmobile Scavenger Hunt.

5. Fire and ice! From the heat of the hot air Balloon Glow lighting up the night sky, to roasting s’mores at Carnival Days at O’Keefe Ranch, to snow sculptures at Silver Star and the incredible Snow Globe Concert with the Reklaws February 10th. The two extremes blend together harmoniously for heaps of winter fun during the Carnival.

Vernon Winter Carnival
Vernon Winter Carnival Ice Slide – Photo Submitted

To learn more on the history to one of Canada’s longest – and biggest – winter celebrations, please have a read to this FestivalSeekers story. Follow the Vernon Winter Carnival on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for information and inspiration.


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