Kelowna's Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights told it can’t operate in Kerry Park this year

Rotary says popular free display did not receive CSA approval and it islooking for another home

After operating for three years in Kerry Park in downtown Kelowna, it appears the Rotary Club of Kelowna won’t be able to light up a portion of downtown with its Festival of Lights.

The Rotary Club says it did not receive proper electrical approval to put up the display of lights and Christmas displays from the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) and the group is now looking for another location for its display, which normally would be up and running as of the start of December.

“We thought we had it up to code and though it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Mario Paré, a member of the Kelowna Rotary Club. “We thought we were doing everything right but it’s pretty stringent.”

The display was originally a home display set up by West Kelowna resident Jerry Budnick. However once it got to be too large, the Rotary Club took over and had set up the display for free in downtown Kelowna.

Paré says in past years the Rotary Club had received a variance that allowed them to operate the Festival of Lights, however this year the club was denied the variance.

“It’s going to be missed especially on that corner,” he said. “The city helped us out by paying the power and this year we had booked some high school students and choirs to entertain with singing. I’m sad to say I don’t think it will go ahead.”

Paré says despite the setback the group is not going to give up.

There is a meeting on Thursday where Rotary will meet to discuss the options of trying to find a lot that is suitable to hold the display, or maybe partnering with another group. The lot size needed for the entire display would be about 90 by 90 feet however a smaller lot could also work. Access to a power supply would be beneficial and Rotary will cover all the costs. If power is unavailable, generators are an option.

Road access is important to allow traffic to move unimpeded and the display will be staffed daily by members from all Rotary Clubs.

If you can help contact Lockie as soon as possible at 250-869-5432.