More beaches and boat launches open for you

More great locations to soak up some sun and enjoy wake-free activities

For residents and visitors planning to get outside over the next few days, here’s an update on the Kelowna areas open to the public in time for the Canada Day long weekend.

Beaches

Lake levels remain high, but a number of beaches along Kelowna’s waterfront will be open by Saturday, providing great locations to soak up some sun and use as a launching point to enjoy wake-free activities.

These include:

  • City Park (north end of the beach) -1600 Abbott Street
  • Waterfront Park including Tugboat Beach – 1200 Water Street
  • Boyce-Gyro Beach Park – 3400 Lakeshore Road
  • Cedar Creek Park – 5200 Lakeshore Road
  • Sarsons Beach Park – 4398 Hobson Road
  • Paul’s Tomb and Lochview Trail – 190 Lochview Road

The tunnel under the William R. Bennett bridge will also reopen by Saturday, however the pedestrian bridge at Lake Avenue remains closed. Power is turned off in City Park, so both the park and tunnel will close at dusk until further notice.

Beach goers may see wood debris along the shoreline as clean-up continues, any large debris should be left in place as it protects against wave erosion.

Anyone swimming should watch for and avoid floating debris.

Additional beaches will open as conditions allow. Check back at kelowna.ca/parks for updates before you head out.

Annual beach water quality testing has been ongoing since early June and to date water quality is good at all test locations.

You can check the latest information on beach water quality by visiting the Recreation Water page on the Interior Health Authority website.

Boat launches

With Okanagan Lake still almost 60 centimetres above full pool, residents and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the lake this weekend with wake-free options like canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.

Those choosing to use motorized watercraft are urged to be respectful – slow down and keep away from shore so wakes do not cause further erosion or flooding of lakeshore properties. Boaters also need to be cautious about infrastructure, like docks and other wood debris floating or submerged in the lake.

Guidelines for respectful boating in the Okanagan has been created by the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre to raise awareness of boating practices during high water levels to minimize the erosion of vulnerable shoreline and reduce damage to property.

Check out the map and guidelines at cordemergency.ca before you head out.

Open boat launches include:

  • Cook Road Boat Launch – 500 Cook Road
  • Cedar Creek Park – 5200 Lakeshore Road This boat launch is only suitable for launching small boats and parking is extremely limited.
  • Water Street Boat Launch – 1354 Water Street
  • This boat launch has one lane open and will have limited parking on Canada Day due to event activities.

Celebrate Canada Day

Downtown Kelowna will be the hub for Canada Day activities this weekend.

The annual, free community festival is held in Waterfront Park, Jim Stuart Park and Kerry Park, as well as Prospera Place to celebrate our nation’s birthday. There are over 50 activities and performances that are multi-generational and family-friendly, sure to entertain festival goers all day long. More than 60,000 people have attended these celebrations annually. This year, watch for some special new activities in honour of Canada’s Sesquicentennial year!

Note that the Coast Capital Savings Fireworks, presented by the City of Kelowna and Tolko, have been postponed to Saturday, Aug. 5 at 9:30 p.m.

Visit festivalskelowna.com for a full listing and schedule of the day’s events.

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