Without question, most people look up to B.C. Premier David Eby.
Standing six-feet-seven-inches tall, Eby is the tallest leader in B.C. history, and he took part in a number of opening weekend events, towering over almost everybody in every photo he posed for.
“We are super excited and honoured that he is here,” said Carnival executive director Kris Fuller. “His enthusiastic participation has already been noted as he’s been inside a hot air balloon (at the Balloon Glow), cheering on Kinshira Fire Juggling and the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band, as well as attended Carnival’s VIP Breakfast.”
The premier actively engaged in the vibrant celebrations, said Fuller, attending events that showcased the rich cultural fabric and community spirit that define Winter Carnival. Among the highlights of his visit were the mesmerizing Balloon Glow, the exclusive VIP Breakfast, the exhilarating One Miler (road running race), and the grand Parade.
At the VIP Breakfast, Eby had the opportunity to connect with community leaders, organizers, and fellow attendees in an intimate setting. The event allowed for meaningful conversations and the exchange of ideas, fostering a sense of camaraderie that is integral to the Carnival experience.
At the breakfast, Eby was presented with the Order of jopo for dignitaries, and had the honour of bestowing Carnival’s highest honour to volunteer Doug Edgar.
The One Miler saw Eby don running shoes and take part, showcasing his commitment to health and community wellness. His involvement in this energetic event further emphasized the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle.
“The highlight of Premier Eby’s visit was undoubtedly the parade, where he joined the procession of floats, performers, and community groups that marched through the heart of Vernon,” said Fuller. “The premier’s presence added an extra layer of prestige to this cherished tradition, underscoring the significance of the Winter Carnival in the cultural calendar of British Columbia.”
Fuller and the rest of the Carnival’s organizaing committee and volunteers said Eby’s attendance “undoubtedly contributed to the success of this year’s event, leaving a lasting impact on the community and its cherished traditions.”
“The Carnival’s success has been further elevated by his gracious presence, marking this year as a memorable chapter in the history of this beloved winter celebration,” said Fuller.
This story was updated Friday, Feb.9, at 9:45 a.m. to correct some misinformation. David Eby was not the first premier to visit Vernon Winter Carnival since 1974. Bill Bennett and Bill Vander Zalm were guests in the 1980s. We apologize for the error.