FAMILY FUN AT JIM STUART PARK TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR

Festivals Kelowna will present a fun and family-friendly way for the community to ring in the New Year on December 31st at Jim Stuart Park in Kelowna.

“As most people know, Festivals Kelowna is known for producing community-focused events in Kelowna each year. Following our summer event season, staff were in planning mode for 2013 and noted the lack of local, family-friendly New Year’s events,” explains Renata Mills, Executive Director, Festivals Kelowna.  “We thought ‘hey, why don’t we do something?’ and so the idea of the New York New Year’s Eveevent was born.”

New York New Year’s is a reference to the timing of the midnight ball-drop in New York City three hours ahead of B.C.’s midnight. The Kelowna event will link into that timing, and be held from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in Jim Stuart Park so families with young children can ring in the New Year early. Completely free to attend, the skating rink will be available for skating as usual, and will be complemented by three live bands on the stage starting at 6:00 p.m. with “The Merkins”, “The Calum Hughes Collective” at 7:00 and high-energy Celtic band “Cod Gone Wild” at 8:00. There will be special lighting effects on the ice and around the park, onsite activities like snowmen building (weather permitting) drop-in games, and hot chocolate and hot dogs by donation on the Kelowna Yacht Club patio. Social media fans will enjoy an onsite “Twitterfall”, a projection of tweets and online conversation about the event managed by Tourism Kelowna’s social media guru, Kyle Harms. There will also be glow sticks and other give-aways courtesy of event partners 99.9 Sun FM, Okanagan Strata Management, and Interior Savings. The event will culminate in a New Year’s countdown at 8:59 p.m., followed by a short fireworks show off of Cold Sands Beach in City Park just after 9:00 p.m.

“What started as a hopeful idea is sure to become an annual tradition for our city,” predicts Mills. “We see lots of possibilities to grow this event and bring many more partners to the table to create an ongoing ‘First Night’ festival in Kelowna.”

More information about the event is available at www.festivalskelowna.com or at facebook.com/festivalskelowna. Follow information about the event in the coming weeks using the twitter hashtag #NYEKelowna and participate in the Twitterfall onsite that night.

Festivals Kelowna is a non-profit society that produces community focused, arts-based festivals and programs including Celebrate Canada Day-Kelowna, Parks Alive!, the Kelowna Buskers Program, and the Arts Alive! artisan program.

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