With driving rain and even some hail Saturday it was a pretty miserable day for the annual Children’s Festival in Boitanio Park, but the weather held for the Shrine Parade through the city that kicked off the event.
The parade was a cheery adventure with lots of Shrine clowns giving out bright red clown noses to children along the route, Shriners riding in formations on little motorcycles, and on scooters, and miniature cars of various types.
There were people riding on unicycles, three wheeled bicycles, two-wheeled bicycles, some fun music from the Child Development Centre’s little wagon and walking group, a few antique cars, dignitaries riding in various vehicles, and even the Pioneer Log Homes B.C. log vehicle silently cruising along. Electric powered, explained driver Bryan Reid Sr.
It was a charming little parade with Shriners also marching in their formal hats and dress that marks this popular charitable organization that held its spring convention in the lakecity over the weekend.
People who arrived early at Boitanio park had an hour or so to enjoy the fun before the storm hit and sent most people scurrying for cover.
Many families with wet, cold young children just packed up and went home while others came prepared to stay, rain or shine and made a day of it.
A little later in the day the sun came out for a little while and some families returned for what was left of the afternoon.
Despite the rain and hail the Shrine clowns kept smiling throughout the day, some making balloon animals for the children.
Children who arrived early for the Children’s Festival were able to jump in the two big bouncy houses provided for the event before they had to be deflated.
When wet organizer Mike Royal said the bouncy houses are too slippery and dangerous for children to play on.
Many of the events such as pottery making and painting tables were under tent covers so those who stayed were treated to an extra long time at the art and other stations. The weather also didn’t seem to curb the line-ups of children wanting to see the inside of the city fire trucks that were parked by the park.
The musical entertainers cleared a spot for the people to watch their show under cover.
The Barefoot Caravan five-piece band from the Okanagan Valley, while looking very chilly to start and wiping the rain off of their plasticized sheets of music re-organized themselves so that people could take cover in the park amphitheatre for their show, but the music could be heard around most of the park.
There were also displays, some water logged on such as local speech and hearing services, water conservation, waste management and garden composting.