Oliver’s annual Expo ‘rooted’ in community pride

Oliver’s annual Expo ‘rooted’ in community pride

It’s official: Campbell Kearns of The Wienery, pictured with daughter Annika and wife Tahnee Forrester, cooks up the best hotdog in town. Kearns took home the “Golden Wienie” trophy and was named the 2018 Top Dog at Oliver Parks and Recreation’s Rock and Roll Picnic on August 17. (Vanessa Broadbent photo)

Special to the Chronicle

Oliver Chronicle

Despite smoky skies, Oliver’s annual Sunshine Festival was a huge success, says Oliver Parks and Recreation’s manager Carol Sheridan.

“We didn’t get the blue skies and sunshine this year but Oliver residents didn’t let the smoke get them down.  The Roots and Fruits Expo was a great success and I was proud of our community for coming together in such big numbers to celebrate what makes our town special.”

Sunshine Festival started Thursday, August 16 with Music and Market in the Park featuring the Steve Jones Band. Despite being pushed indoors because of smoke, the audience enjoying a rocking good show.

On Friday, August 17, a sell-out crowd took in Oliver’s first ever Rock and Roll Picnic, relaxing to the sweet ragtime blues sounds of The Burying Ground and then kicking it up with AC/DC tribute band, High Voltage. Among the best moments of the night was the youngest and oldest in the crowd singing their hearts out together to AC/DC’s iconic “Thunderstruck.”

Congratulations to The Wienery’s chef Campbell Kearns for winning the coveted people’s choice “Golden Wienie” trophy and title of “2018 Top Dog” in the Rock and Roll Picnic’s gourmet hotdog competition. His “Elvis” dog, a peanut butter and maple bacon flavoured masterpiece, just slightly edged out a gorgeous chili-dog from Mica’s chef Nick Atkins and an incredible deli-dog by Oliver Eats Ltd’s Derek Uhlemann.

The Oliver parade and Oliver Roots and Fruits Expo rounded out Sunshine Festival on Saturday. With tons of activities and more interactive exhibits than ever before, the Roots and Fruits Expo kept locals and tourists entertained all day. Organizers were disappointed that the dense smoke thinned the evening crowd but estimate that over 1,800 people still took part in the parade and visited the Expo. Congratulations to Emerrit Knechtel for building the fastest zucchini car, and thanks to the many volunteers, exhibitors and entertainers that made Roots and Fruits such a success.

Given that it takes the commitment of a whole community to put on great events, enormous thanks to the many sponsors and supporters who helped make Sunshine Festival happen. Special thanks to Oliver Buy-Low and the Rotary Club of Oliver for their main stage sponsorship, allowing organizers to offer free live entertainment all day long.

Thanks also to the many other Roots and Fruits supporters: Casorso and Company, CIBC, the Dressmaker Dianne Gibson, EZ Rock, Fun4Life, Gerard’s Equipment Co., Growers Supply Co., Interior Savings Credit Union, John DiBernardo of ReMax – Wine Capital Properties, Michelle Weisheit of Investors Group, Munckhof Manufacturing, New Country Radio, Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Oliver Chronicle, Oliver Coast Hotel, Oliver Daily News, Oliver Dance Studio, Oliver District Heritage Society, Oliver Online’s Leza Macdonald, Oliver and Osoyoos Winery Association, Pacific Silica, Parties and Pies, the Sagebrushers, SunFM, Valley First Credit Union, Walnut Beach Resort, and Women of Oliver for Women (WOW).

Mark your calendars for August 15-17, 2019. It’s going to be even bigger and better next year!