Ideal weather drew out thousands of people to downtown Vernon for the 29th annual Sunshine Festival Saturday, June 17.
The event, presented by VantageOne Credit Union, ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 30th Avenue, where six block were closed to traffic to make way for more than 150 vendors.
By 2 p.m., the Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) estimated that close to 10,000 people had come out for the event.
“The weather held out which is the most important thing,” said Peter Kaz, marketing and events manager for the DVA. “It’s been phenomenal, and the reaction that we got from the general public and from our own businesses has been great, we’re really happy with it.”
The east side of 30th Avenue near the Vernon Towne Theatre was referred to as the kid’s zone, with Vernon Fire Rescue Services there to give kids an up-close look of their ladder truck, and Ebenezer’s there with games for kids. There was also a stage for kid’s entertainers, snow cones, balloon animals, face painting and a host of other kids activities.
The west side of 30th Avenue, near Nature’s Fare, was filled with food trucks and the main stage, where a different band played every hour.
“Basically partying it up and having people dance and eat and watch and enjoy themselves, and everything in between. It’s just a plethora of vendors, other food people and musicians, and we even have a DJ,” said Kaz.
Kaz said the event was a huge success, with many people coming up to himself and other DVA staff, shaking their hand, and describing how much fun they were having.
“It’s touching our hearts, we’re really excited, we love doing as much as we can for our town.”
Patrick Geary, a representative for Stoke Juice, a cold-pressed juice company out of Kimberley, had a booth set up on the west end of 30th Avenue. He said the amount of people present was staggering, and with this being his first year at the festival, he’s already looking forward to coming again next year.
“It’s awesome, it’s great to see the community back out here,” Geary said.