Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue to turn out to be an ‘city park’ July 1 | iNFOnews

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue will be closed to vehicles again this summer and opened for entertainment.

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

April 23, 2022 – 11:30 AM

COVID may be a painful memory for downtown Kelowna businesses but one of its cultural contributions will continue this summer.

From July 1 to Sept. 5, four blocks of Bernard Avenue, starting from The Sails, will be closed to vehicular traffic and animated with art, flowers, music, parklets and games.

Called Meet Me On Bernard it “transforms Bernard Avenue from a vehicular corridor to an urban park, offering pedestrians a fun and vibrant setting to enjoy a variety of activities and to explore local shops and restaurants,” states a report going to Kelowna city council on Monday outlining this year’s program.

It was launched in 2020, initially as a way for restaurants to expand their patios since indoor seating was restricted due to COVID rules.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue could be closed every summer

Last year, 23 restaurants expanded their patios. So far this year, 21 have applied to do it again.

Local landscape architect firms created seven “parklets” last year. There are eight firms this year planning to create the mini-parks.

There will be art on the street, buskers and shows highlighting local talent. Street games such as chess, giant checkers and Jenga will be offered again and there will be room for pop-up businesses to join in.

The Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market will be held in the 400 and 500 blocks each Sunday and events such as Arts on the Avenue and a block party are in the works.

The budget for the summer is $25,000, funded by participating organizations and revenue generated by the city for things like patio expansion fees.

That will be augmented by staff time for city, Downtown Kelowna Association and Tourism Kelowna staff.

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