Okanagan residents still celebrating Canada Day despite official cancellation

Canada Day in Kelowna is typically a huge celebration that draws thousands to the downtown core with live music, various activities for kids and the grand celebration of fireworks.

However, this year, celebrations are cancelled due to COVID-19.

“It’s definitely going to have a different feel downtown today and this evening, given the fact that Canada Day celebrations have been cancelled,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

Read more: Canada Day 2020 goes virtual across B.C.

Basran says most residents have been understanding of the cancellation.

“I haven’t had a lot of negative feedback regarding the decision that was made, I think everybody recognizes this is a health-care issue,” Basran told Global News on Wednesday.

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Basran says even though official celebrations are cancelled, he says people should still find their own way to celebrate.

And many people were seen doing just that on Canada Day in the afternoon in downtown Kelowna.

“We’re heading down to get some scooters, scoot around. Maybe drink a few beers with the boys,” said a young man dressed head to toe in red garb who didn’t give his name.

“COVID-19 won’t stop us from celebrating our great nation,” he said. 

Read more: 2020 Canada Day ‘unlike any other’ as celebrations move online, cancelled amid COVID-19

Last year’s Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake also made an appearance at Waterfront Park.

She decided even though celebrations were cancelled, she wanted to run a dance class by donation.

“I’d like to utilize my passion to give back to the heroes who are fighting for us during the pandemic,” said Priyaali Kanti.

Kanti says all the money collected from her dance class will be donated to Kelowna General Hospital.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.