Food & Harvest Festivals In The Okanagan BC
The Okanagan celebrates a variety of food and harvest festivals during the growing season. We have much to be thankful for living in an area that is so rich in agricultural land that affords us the delicious bounty of the crops that are grown.
Local farmers work hard from early spring to late fall to grow fresh fruits and vegetables that are taken from farm to table in many community homes, and also sold at summer farmers markets.
Our harvest season, which usually begins in June with early fruits, such as cherries, is often affected by spring weather, which doesn't always keep a perfect schedule. Fruit harvest can be late if we see a cooler spring.
But once ready, we head to the orchards to pick our own, or out to the markets to buy fresh produce and other products made by local producers. Through fall, we enjoy apples, as well as fall produce such as pumpkin and corn. Apples can be harvested right into late October. The South Okanagan sees fruit harvest first. Then, as you go north through the Okanagan and into the Shuswap, crops ripen later.
There are festivals and celebrations all throughout the valley at different times. Most fruit festivals take place in summer, wine festivals take place at different times of the year, and there are some harvest festivals that happen in the fall. September also has some festivals and events that focus on fall harvest.
Osoyoos Cherry Fiesta
The annual Cherry Fiesta in Osoyoos, BC. has been running for more than 60 years. This festival takes place on Canada day, July 1st, during the July long weekend celebrations. The Cherry Fiesta is well known for it's cherry pie eating contest and cherry seed spitting contest. There's also a parade, a pancake breakfast hosted by the local Lion's club, lots of entertainment and activites for kids and families.
Later in the evening there's fireworks, which you can see from different vantage points in the town.
We've personally attended the Penticton Peachfest fruit festival with our own top kid every year for the last 15 years. :-) This harvest festival is always a lot of fun! The peach festival began in 1947 and has everything including a pancake breakfast, live outdoor shows and music, a midway along the lake, two parades, arts & crafts, the best peach dishes around, sandcastle competitions, and late night fireworks. There's also a Square Dance Festival that takes place during the same time.
Kelowna Annual Cherry Fair
The cherry fair in Kelowna, is another cherry harvest festival in the Okanagan which is put on by the B.C. Orchard Industry Museum in Kelowna. It's a popular event for locals and visitor's and generally takes place at the Laurel Packinghouse in downtown Kelowna. You can sample all different types of cherries that are grown in the Okanagan. Plus, there's also lots of activites for kids that go on. For exact location, dates and time, contact Kelowna Museums.
Chase BC CornStock Festival
The Shuswap is such a beautiful area and communities celebrate many things including the Salmon Run, and the Corn Festival in Chase. Celebrating fall harvest, there's a stage with entertainment by local artists as well as musicians from throughout British Columbia. There's also a 'CornField Market' where you can find locally grown produce and other products made by the area's crafters. This is a great family celebration that also has lots of activities for kids. This event takes place in July, so you can sample fresh cherries in season, picked fresh from the trees.
Fungi Festival - Shuswap
The "Sicamous & Shuswap Lake Wild Mushroom & Food Festival", is a great outdoor fall festival that takes place in Sicamous BC every September. Mushroom foodies get to experience activities and events based around wild mushrooms, including mushroom hunting tours, presentations, and mushroom dishes. The Sicamous Fungi Festival is not a child-oriented event due to the risks associated with many poisonous and psychedelic species of mushroom. There are also long walks in remote woods, and a Beer Garden, which just aren't suitable for children. Check the fungifestival.com website for details.
Okanagan Lavender Event Days - Kelowna BCSo many people love lavendar as it can used for everything in food from teas to ice cream. Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm celebrates lavendar harvest in July every year. The lavendar harvest is an amazing time to explore the culinary side of lavender. During the harvest festival you can learn how to make fresh herbal teas from the lavendar garden and enjoy the aroma of lavender at it's peak bloom time in July. You can also learn the art of weaving lavender wands and watch demonstrations of creating lavender wreaths, bouquets and wedding favours. The Okanagan Lavendar Herb Farm overlooks Okanagan Lake and is located at 4380 Takla Road in Kelowna. If you can't be there for the event days you can visit and do a self guided tour anytime between June and October.
Similkameen Sizzle Pepperfest
The Similkameen Valley BC is known for it's organic roots, with more than 40 percent of all it's crops grown organically. It's also known as the 'Organic Capital of Canada'. This region lies stunning moutains, and hot, dry and sunny Similkameen Valley. A visit to the Okanagan BC is is just not complete without a trip to the Similkameen Valley. Also visit some Similkameen wineries when you're in this area.
And in the fall, it's incredibly colorful and stunningly beautiful. The Similkameen Sizzle Pepperfest harvest festival takes place in September, when days are still hot and evenings are nice and cool. There's all kinds of 'food' events including a chili cook-off and a hot sauce competition. It's a family friend festival with activities for kids and great entertainment. Information, directions and details are at gotpeppers.info.
Fall Pumpkin Harvest At Bears Market In Keremeos BC
Okanagan Fest of Ale takes place at the Penticton BC Trade and Convention center. This spring festival features over 75 Brewpubs, Microbreweries and Regional Breweries. You can taste some of the best of the Pacific Northwest handcrafted ales, traditional beers, like porters and lagers, as well as some fine and unusual ales. There's always great entertainment and food as well, so if you're not there to taste the beer, you will still have a great time! The event takes place in April each year and the Okanagan Fest Of Ale has been going on for almost 20 years.
Annual Organic Okanagan Festival
Presented by the Okanagan Greens Society in Kelowna, the Organic Okanagan Festival is a community-based, green living expo that began in 2006. The festival promotes organic food growth, production, and consumption. This festival eco-conscious, and educational promoting NON GMO production of food and green food choices. The festival also aims to educate the public on the potential consequence of the Genetically Engineered 'Non - Browning' Apple, whic a BC fruit company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits is asking Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to approve. The first annual 'Organic Okanagan Festival' was held at Kelowna's certified organic vineyard, Summerhill Pyramid Winery. The event also raises money for local food banks. You can find more information about this Okanagan festival here...Organic Greens.
Festival of the Grape
The celebration of grape harvest happens in Oliver, BC at the annual Festival of the Grape. This Okanagan harvest festival first started in 1997, and is put on by the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce. While the event focuses on wine, it is a family oriented festival with all kinds of activities like the rock-climbing wall, face painting, and other activities. There's also local food vendors and artisans, and an art show and sale. The highlight is the grape stomp. This fall harvest festival takes place in September, and is held at the Oliver Community Centre, at 36003 79th Street in Oliver, British Columbia. Everyone is invited. :-)
Annual Harvest Celebration Salmon Arm BC
The R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum in Salmon Arm has hosted an annual fall harvest festival in September every year for many years.
Do You Have A Food Or Harvest Festival To Share?
If your organization has an annual event you would like included on Okanagan Vacation Guide harvest festivals please let us know about it here. Please include as much information as you can. When we receive your information we may have to contact you for more details before we add the event to our page. Be sure to include an e-mail address.
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Authored By: Erika Friedrich Copyright© 2008-2016 OkanaganVacationGuide.com All Rights Reserved