Okanagan-Shuswap Major Cities: Kelowna
Kelowna, a city of 76,000 residents, is the centre of a fruit, vegetable and wine-growing region around Okanagan Lake. The community used be located just a bit more inland and was called L’Anse au Sable or Sandy Cove. In 1892, the townsite was shifted from Mission Creek to alongside the Lake., which was more convenient to steamboat ferries bringing settlers and supplies. Soon after, the town has 11 sawmills, three fruit-packing plants, and two canneries. The area’s cash crop used to be tobacco, but after a slump following the First World War, the farmers switched to fruit. The area now grows about 1/3 of all of Canada’s apples. Kelowna is the area’s governmental centre, and is hometown to two of BC's premiers, W.A.C. Bennett, and his son W.R. (Bill) Bennett.
The city prides itself as being Canada’s "Summer City" with its great lakeshore, sandy beaches, and basking in the afternoon sun. The city has 65 parks, including seven along the water with beaches. Unfortunately, many people who visit decide to stay, causing Kelowna to grow dramatically over the last decade. The additional of Highway 97C, the "Peachland Connector," in 1990 has made driving to (or from) the West Coast and Vancouver a lot more convenient
The Lake itself is famous for its legendary Ogopogo Monster, which has a statue to its credit in the city. Recreation in the area focuses largely on golf and water sports, and skiing in the winter.
These are Kelowna’s annual events:
Snowfest (early January), International Midget AAA Hockey Tournament (Feb), Taste of Kelowna (Late Feb), Ski to Sea Race (late April), 5th Annual Spring Wine and Food Festival (late April), Black Mountain Rodeo (mid May), Rutland Days (late May), Knox Mountain Hill Climb (late May), Okanagan International Marathon (late May), Okanagan Classic Show & Shine Thunderbird Show (late May), Canada Day Pops Orchestra & Folk
Fest (early July), Cherry Fair (Mid July), Kelowna Regatta Parade (mid July), Canadian Mountain Bike Festival (mid July), Mozart Festival 1999 (late July), Guisachan Garden Show (early August), 6th Annual Kelowna Fringe Festival (mid Aug), 17th Annual Kelowna Apple Triathlon (late Aug), 1999 Ki-low-na Salmon Festival (mid Sept), East Kelowna Fall Fair (mid Sept), 17th Annual Peak to Peak Race (late Sept), Mardi Gras (early October), 19th Annual Fall Wine Festival (October), Apple Fair (mid Oct), 19th Annual Kelowna Christmas Craft Fair (late Nov), Christmas Light-up (early Dec)