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S.S. Sicamous celebrates 110th birthday in Penticton

May 19 marks 110 years since the ship first hit the waters of Okanagan Lake
Kids stretch out on the Okanagan Lake beach, near the CPR wharf with the SS Sicamous at rest around 1925. In 2024 the ship marks 110 years since it first entered Okanagan Lake. (Lumb Stocks photo, courtesy

The S.S. Sicamous marks its 110th birthday in 2024, and the heritage society is holding a birthday bash on May 19.

From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. there will be festivities and activities at and around the Sicamous and the S.S. Naramata CP Tugboat to celebrate the ship’s maiden voyage in 1914.

The ship itself was assembled in Vernon after being shipped in parts by rail from what is now Thunder Bay, Ontario. The ship was often called the Queen of the Lake and served almost three decades as a transport vessel for passengers and cargo up and down the lake.

In addition to tours of the museum all afternoon, the Marine Heritage Society will have a range of other activities.

There will be an assortment of games set up outside the ships, a photo booth in the stern saloon, live music in the dining hall, food trucks on site and drinks, popcorn and candy available by donation.

There will also be canoe races put on by Hoodoo Adventure Company if the weather permits.

READ MORE: SS Sicamous celebrates birthday

At precisely 2:15 p.m. on May 19, 1914 the steam-driven paddle wheeler splashed into Okanagan Lake for her first trip. At 2:15 on 2024, the ship’s whistle will blow to mark the occasion, and a limited number of cupcakes will be handed out to those on site.

The ship has been located in Penticton since 1951 when the city bought the ship from Canadian Pacific Railway for the nominal price of $1.

The event on May 19 celebrates the ship’s history and the launch of the summer season for the museum.

The Marine Heritage Society also invites people to join them as members for the year, which will grants entry to the ships and discounts on events like the Sip Back In Time wine tasting event, the Murder Mystery, and Santa’s Workshop.

Membership also gives access to the ship for viewing the fireworks on Canada Day.

Funds raised through memberships and events like the 110th Birthday of the Sicamous support restoration and maintenance efforts on the three ships for which the society is responsible.

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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