JulyFest is quickly approaching and event organizers and volunteers are full steam ahead getting ready for one of the business weekends of the year.
Mike Guarnery, Manager of the Kimberley and District Chamber of Commerce says that there’s lots to look forward to at this year’s JFest, including a diverse line-up of live music.
“I like the diversity of this year’s band list,” said Guarnery. “We have full coverage of rock and roll, I would say six decades covered. We’ve also got a reggae band, a band with jazz overtones, and lots of local bands.”
“There will be a band from Mexico, Las Cha Chas, that was formally the Cali band. Kimberley residents might recognize them,” he added. “We’ve got the perennial favourite, Elk Hunt with Kevin Honeyman coming down from Williams Lake.”
The Kimberley bands include Oak Republic, Elk Hunt, 4 Deer Run, In Pursuit, The Tumbleweeds, and The Choice.
There will also be Mehdi and the Meditations (reggae) and Velle and the Kootenay Soul.
The price for admission has gone up, what was previously $5 is now $10, but Guarnery thinks it’s still a good value.
“It’s great value for an evening out. That increase is really to cover the costs of operating and infrastructure. This year we’ve got a better stage, better sound system, and better lights,” he said.
The location of the stage will also be changing to the right field.
“That way people who want to dance can do so on softer grass, take their shoes off and have some fun,” said Guarnery.
The location of beer ticket sales will also be moving closer to the beer tent, and there will be more lighting added to the bocce area.
It’s not all about the music however, says Guarnery.
“It’s the Canadian Bocce Championships, with live music, not a music festival,” he said, adding that there is still lots of room for teams to sign up.
Registration for a team is $100 plus GST. You can register a team by going online to www.kimberleyjulyfest.com.
“We’ve had close to 40 teams sign up on the very last day,” Guarnery said. “We expect that spots will start filling up now that we’re two weeks out.”
He says that when looking at numbers, so far this year less Albertans have signed up, “Alberta numbers are significantly lower this year compared to the last three years. We’ll see what happens, but right now we’re right on target for numbers.”
New this year, youth will be allowed to stick around until 8p.m. as opposed to past years when the cut off was 6p.m..
“We made this change because we’ve received feedback from young families. It should help with the logistics,” Guarnery said.
Kid’s Fest will take place on July 21 with bouncy castles, face painting and other activities at the little coronation ball field. Guarnery hopes that the Kimberley Fire Department will again be available as well.
Last but not least, Guarnery says he is always impressed by the amount of people who plan ahead for a safe way home.
“The police definitely have a presence at JulyFest and they set the tone,” said Guarnery. “I’m really happy that everyone has a plan to get home safe.”