Bernard Avenue party in downtown Kelowna on Canada Day draws thousands

Click to play video: 'Bernard Avenue party in Kelowna draws thousands' Bernard Avenue party in Kelowna draws thousands
Bernard Avenue party in Kelowna draws thousands – Jul 2, 2021

Despite the cancellation of Canada Day celebrations in Kelowna, thousands converged on Bernard Avenue.

Kelowna RCMP was unavailable for an interview, but many were seen in the downtown area Thursday night tending to a pair of men who were allegedly assaulted.

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A girl was also reportedly hit in the face with a firework.

A witness, who did not give her name, said she saw the whole thing.

“I looked behind me to look for my friend and my sister, and I saw this one girl get hit in the face and her arm with a firework,” the witness said.

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“I ran and ducked, I got really scared.”

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July 1st was the first day of BC’s Step 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan and many were out celebrating along with Canada Day.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, however, wants to remind those participating in the massive party downtown that we are still in the midst of a pandemic.

“The pandemic is not over. We encourage people to continue to get their vaccinations, but you still need to be mindful of your space and actions with other people,” said Basran.

“Please behave responsibly, please don’t come downtown to be loitering in the wee hours of the morning. We asked that you please go home at a decent time. I would also ask if you’re going to consume alcohol, please do it in one of our fine establishments.”

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The Downtown Kelowna Association said the craziness seen on Thursday night is not a good representation of the downtown Kelowna community.

“That’s not what Kelowna’s about,” said Mark Burley, Downtown Kelowna Association’s executive director.

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“It was a perfect storm of things happening yesterday with Canada Day and restrictions being lifted and things just accelerated from there.”

Click to play video: 'A different kind of Canada Day' A different kind of Canada Day
A different kind of Canada Day – Jul 1, 2021

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