After a two-year hiatus, one of the Okanagan’s best-known fundraisers is returning this summer.
For 2020 and 2021, the event was cancelled because of COVID-19 and health concerns. This year, though, the annual event is slated to run on Saturday, July 30.
“It’ll be nice to get everything back to normal,” said Matt August, Dream Rally co-founder.
In 2019, the rally — which saw thousands pack downtown Kelowna to see the giant gathering of exotic cars — raised $816,000. In 2018, the rally raised $425,000.
This year, rally organizers are hoping to raise $1 million.
August says thanks to two new sponsors, they’re hopeful the goal will be reached. But no matter the amount, helping those in need is considered a win.
“It gives everybody a really fun day,” said August.
Cars will start gathering in downtown Kelowna early Saturday morning, with drivers starting their vehicles at 10:15 a.m., before departing to Penticton.
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The rally is expected to arrive in Penticton around 11:30 a.m., with vehicles returning to Kelowna around 2:30 p.m.
August said the first year saw a gathering of 110 vehicles. In 2019, just over 250 were involved.
There are no plans to add more, with August saying that’s roughly the limit.
“We have RCMP support and city support trying to get us all together out of town and on our way to Penticton,” said August. “It’s already a lot, the number of cars we have.”
He said the goal is to ensure everyone involved has a good experience.
Asked if he thought the Dream Rally would one day attract thousands of onlookers, August said it was originally built to be a small event held every other year.
“And then it just kind of grew,” he said. “After the first year, we saw how much it impacted families, kids, drivers. It was just something that we couldn’t stop and we wanted it to grow as big as possible.
“We want it to be one of the fundraisers that raises the most in our city.”
More information about the Okanagan Dream Rally can be found online.