Tickets for the 22nd annual Meadowlark Nature Festival go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Showcasing the spectacular natural wonders of the Okanagan and Similkameen, Meadowlark Festival, running May 16 -20, offers more than 70 tours including hiking, cycling, canoeing, historical tours, astronomy events, art exhibitions, Aboriginal events, and photography and painting workshops, among others.

Leading Meadowlark tours are experts in their fields including biologists, botanists, herpetologists, entomologists, artists, traditional knowledge keepers, and adventurists.

“This year’s roster of events includes many of our perennial favourites including our burrowing owl tour, bat tours, photography workshops, horseback riding and canoeing, cycling tours, geology and natural history tours as well as some great hikes at McIntyre Bluff, Skaha Bluffs, Mahoney Lake, Similkameen Pines and Oliver Mountain,” says festival co-ordinator Jayme Friedt.

“We’ve also added several wonderful new tours this year such as a hike exploring the Eneas Wildfire in Summerland, a sustainable buildings and landscapes tour, Cottonwood forest restoration tour at the En’owkin Greenhouse and Nursery and a kayak tour to Rattlesnake Island to name only a few.”

The festival’s 2019 featured artist is Alex Fong.

His piece entitled, One Moon…, will be used on the festival’s promotional materials including T-shirts, posters and advertising.

Limited edition signed canvas prints of “One Moon…” are available for purchase through the festival office. The original framed watercolour is one of three prizes on this year’s Meadowlark raffle ticket, which also includes WestJet tickets and a $500 Burrowing Owl Estate Winery gift card.

“Alex has such a joyful, whimsical approach to his art. We absolutely love the playful and colourful depiction he’s done of a Meadowlark scene,” says Friedt. “We are very lucky to have an artist of his calibre offer his work to the festival.”

Each year, the festival hosts a dinner and auction fundraiser. This year’s event is the Birders, Burgers and Beer on May 17, from 5-7 p.m.

Meadowlarkers are invited to kick off the festival at the Penticton Golf and Country Club, enjoy a delicious meal including a chicken, veggie or beef burger, fries, salad and a drink of choice, listen to great live music by the incomparable Ari Neufeld, raise a toast to Outstanding in Nature Award recipient Bryn White and bid on some silent and live auction items.

For a complete look at the 2019 festival go to meadowlarkfestival.ca and click on 2019 Festival at a Glance.

As of Saturday, online tickets can be purchased at www.meadowlarkfestival.ca using any major credit card via PayPal.

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