Bocce stays in place for this year; hopefully

Plan for Saturday night is Good ol’ Goats, DJ Dubmatix and Taj Weekes

The Canadian Bocce Championships are one of JulyFest's biggest draws.

The Canadian Bocce Championships are one of JulyFest's biggest draws.

One of the overriding concerns around this year’s JulyFest was whether the bocce pits would have to be moved to make way for the new Rotary Spray Park. Rotary was successful in obtaining a grant from the Columbia Basin Trust for the project and do plan to proceed with the park on the Rotary Drive site. However, it now appears that bocce can stay put for this year, but will have to move for JulyFest 2017.

With that looming Kimberley Chamber Manager Mike Guarnery and board members were looking at other locations, and had it narrowed down to two possibilities, each with their own logistical problems. The two choices are Centennial Park or the portion of Rotary Park between the ball diamond and the tennis courts. Rotary Park presents the problem and expense of getting power to the site. Centennial Park, while a good location, with power available, is a long way from the Civic Centre where the Saturday night dance is held, which would hamper moving the crowds into the arena. Guarnery indicated the Chamber is leaning towards Rotary Park.

However, that is something the Chamber will now have time to work out, Guarnery says.

“I’m 99 per cent sure we’ll be at the same spot as last year,” he said on Wednesday, ahead of the Chamber’s open house Thursday evening.

At the meeting, guests were shown a crude layout of plans for Rotary Park.

“It still needs approval from the Fire Chief, City Hall, and SD6 as it would require the closure of McKenzie St. from Friday night to Sunday (again, all next year),” he said.

As for JulyFest Saturday night for this year, Guarnery says he is just waiting for three bands to sign contracts, so it’s not 100 per cent certain, but here’s the tentative plan.

“The Good ‘Ol Goats will open. Juno award winning DJ Dubmatix will take over the stage followed by our main act, known reggae artist Taj Weekes (from NYC via St. Lucia).”

Guarnery says there is a plan B if one or more of the bands doesn’t sign, but he is optimistic.

At the open house, the Chamber introduced Darren Shaben as the Coordinator along with Karen Rempel as Sponsorship and Volunteer Coordinator.