Kimberley JulyFest moves bocce to Centennial Park

JulyFest Open House scheduled for March 1 at Aquatic Centre

Bocce moves to Centennial Park for JulyFest 2017.

Bocce moves to Centennial Park for JulyFest 2017.

The JulyFest Committee, made up primarily of board members of the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce, has some big changes in mind for JulyFest 2017, the primary one being location.

Bocce and JulyFest central are moving to Centennial Park, at least for this year. As many Kimberley residents are aware, with the construction of the new spray park on Rotary Drive, bocce is looking for a new home. After a lot of consideration of options, the decision has been made to host bocce at Centennial Park.

“We were really down to two options,” said Kimberley Chamber Manager Mike Guarnery.

“It was either the Rotary Park baseball diamond or Centennial. The Committee has chosen Centennial because there is available infrastructure, water and electricity.”

Centennial Park has been under discussion ever since the inevitability of a move came up. The chief problem was that it was some distance from the Civic Centre, and organizers worried about moving people from the bocce pits to the arena for the Saturday night dance. Traditionally, the bocce pits close at 9 p.m. on the Saturday and Festers move to the arena for the evening.

However, this year there is no indoor concert.

“We’re not doing the indoor concert this year because of the repairs to the north wall of the Civic Centre,” Guarnery said. “We don’t know when the north wall will be done and we didn’t want any issues with booking a band and then not having a venue. So we’re going to keep everything outdoors this year. That’s not to say we won’t have a concert again, but we’re going to test it this year, to see how it works.

“We’re still going to have two days of live music. There will be more room for the stage and dancing without encroaching on the bocce.”

This also means bocce will run later on Saturday.

The parade will still run the same route, starting near Centennial Hall and ending at the Civic Centre. Reversing the route would make it all uphill, too much for those walking the parade. There will be a Kids Fest at Centennial Park as well.

“It’s the best value for $5 per person that anyone can get,” Guarnery said.

The JulyFest committee is open to any and all ideas on how to make this the best Fest ever. To that end, an open house has been scheduled for March 1 at the Aquatic Centre from 3 to 7 p.m.