Kimberley’s beloved JulyFest returns after two years off, with plans to make this year the best event ever, gearing up for next year’s 50th festival. Bulletin file.

Kimberley’s beloved JulyFest returns after two years off, with plans to make this year the best event ever, gearing up for next year’s 50th festival. Bulletin file.

Hype building as preparation for JulyFest goes into high gear

Kimberley’s biggest event JulyFest is just around the corner, and after two years without it due to the pandemic, excitement is definitely starting to build.

“It feels really, really good to get back into it after the two-year hiatus,” said Karen Cetinski, event coordinator with Rocky Mountain Event Planners. “I’m expecting higher numbers at JulyFest, because with other events that have taken place they’ve all had higher numbers, so it seems people want to get out and get together and have fun and have some normalcy.”

Music is always a major component of the weekend and this year Cetinski said they’ve decided to have a lineup comprised entirely of local bands, with feature bands The Mile High Club on Friday and Leather Apron Revival on Saturday.

READ MORE: JulyFest 2019

“We’ve wanted to keep all the bands local because everyone’s been really hard hit and the bands are really looking forward to playing,” Cetinski said. “The rest of the bands are a great lineup and not to be missed. Our stage is fully packed with local bands.”

New this year, attendees can purchase their tickets and register their teams online at www.kimberleyjulyfest.com and it’s open and ready for registrations now.

For the bocce this year, organizers have decided not to have men’s, women’s and mixed teams, all teams will be inclusive.

“You can have anyone on your team,” Cetinski said. “That’s one good change, we’ve really listened to the public and what they had to say on that.”

There are a lot of teams signing up and still a lot of spots available, but Cetinski recommends signing up early to make sure you get in.

In place of trophies this year, winners will be presented with vintage beer signs that read “49th Kimberley JulyFest,” and a medal.

The massive, world-renown soccer tournament is also returning this year and has its own separate website for information and registration: https://julyfestsoccer.com/

The homecoming parade is a go for this year again and a grand marshal has been picked and an announcement should be incoming if that person accepts the nomination. There will then be an official announcement ceremony at June 3 at Purcell Golf Course.

There will, of course, be beer gardens. As Cetinski puts it, “with JulyFest you have to talk about bands, bocce and beer.”

This year they’re bringing in some new flavours of coolers from Labatt, and Cetinski has decided to do a caesar Sunday, because who doesn’t enjoy a caesar on Sunday. After she came up with this, however, it seemed to good to not also have caesars available on Saturday morning as well.

There will be no Kid Fest this year, as due to liability reasons it was not feasible, and instead there will be a vendor market.

“This will give all the vendors a chance to come to a big local event and sell their wares or their products and make some money because COVID has hit them hard, so we’re really trying to shed some light on that,” Cetinski explained.

On the food vendor front, there will be some old favourites returning this year and some new ones as well — a good chance to get your grub on.

VIP tents are available for any reunions who would like to rent one and anyone interested can reach out directly to Cetinski at julyfestvolunteers@gmail.com

Sponsorship packages are now out, it’s really good we have several packages available for a variety of price ranges. If anyone wants a sponsorship package sent out to them reach out to Cetinski as well at the email above.

Volunteers are also still needed. Cetinski said they have calculated they need about 200 volunteers at 1100 hours to make July Fest happen.

“We really need the community’s help,” Cetinski said. “We’ve shortened the hours that are needed, so basically you can volunteer the hours that fit into your life.”

Volunteers will get July Fest t-shirts, and be reated to a volunteer barbecue, receive some drink tickets for the weekend and get entered into a draw to win a Gin Smash cruiser bicycle.

Cetinski said they are planning to do an opening ceremony on the Friday before the festival gets going at around 3 p.m.

This year the organizers are adding a lot of new components and making some changes, all in preparation for next year, the 50th July Fest.

“We’re gearing ourselves up this year to make next year really big,” Cetinski said. “I really want to bring JulyFest up to the next level to make it a really good and beyond community event. Everything that we’re doing this year, we’re really trying to elevate the event.”

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paul.rodgers@kimberleybulletin

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