The word’s out again: Osoyoos is the place to party this Canada Day.

Last year, 25,000 filled the community to celebrate Canada Day and Cherry Fiesta. There’s no reason not to expect another massive throng will gather in the community this year.

“One of the Okanagan’s smaller communities boasts of having the biggest Canada Day fireworks show in all of Western Canada,” shouted Kelowna’s Daily Courier earlier this week as it previewed fireworks opportunities for Okanagan residents.

It highlighted the Osoyoos Fireworks committee’s $85,000 budget and expected 30-minute show. By contrast, the City of Kelowna will spend about $30,000 for its 20 to 25-minute fireworks celebration.

The fireworks — held at Gyro Park and lighting up the sky above Osoyoos Lake — are scheduled for around 10 p.m. Sunday. They wrap up a full day of Cherry Fiesta activities that includes pie-eating and cherry-spitting contests, a morning parade and other festivities.

At the centre of the weekend is a full stage of entertainment at various venues.

  • Music in the Park opens its fourth season this evening with South Okanagan favourite Brian Highley on stage. The free Gyro Park show is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start.
  • Across the lake at the Spirit Beach Cantina, John Welsh is back with his band for an 8 p.m. show. The beach is the perfect setting for the band’s mix of high energy Latin, West African, reggae, and folk rock rhythms. Tickets are $20 for the 8 p.m. show.
  • Saturday, the music continues at the Cantina with the John Welsh Band sharing the stage with yet another Cantina favourite, Caleb Hart and the Royal Youths. That means even more reggae to go along with your beach sandals and cool drink. Tickets are $20 for the 8 p.m. show.
  • At the Hester Creek Winery Saturday afternoon, Mark Irving will share his music on the Patio. The musical entertainment is complimentary and you can also enjoy enjoy local artisan cheeses, fresh deli offerings and a glass of award winning wine.
  • Sunday, Gyro Park is rocking again with an afternoon of free entertainment. Scheduled to perform are Gypsy & the Rose, August Accord, Cindy Doucette, the Real Ponchos, Judy Rowe & The Diamonds, Rebel Luv, Uncorked and the Timbre Wolves.
  • A block away, at the Royal Canadian Legion, Steve Hillis will entertain after supper, serving up his one-man Garth Brooks tribute show.
  • Spirit Beach Cantina wraps up its weekend lineup of entertainment with an encore performance from Caleb Hart and the Royal Youths. Sunday evening’s show is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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