Urban Okanagan

The Kings and Queens and Queens and Queens and Queens of Vernon Go On Parade

Welcome to the Vernon Winter Carnival. It all started around these parts with a stagecoach some 150 years back.

We have evolved since then, I tell ya.


Wonderland, we call it now. It’s an excuse to let the criminals out, to give candies to the kids.

Well, it looks like that, but no.

It’s a race, actually.

And the wheelchair wins!In a retirement town? Yay!

No contest! An American lawn tractor? Put ‘er in!

Darn rights!

That’s our mascot, Joppo. Joppo and Joppette.

Watch and learn. This is how you make a country, good people.

It has a king.

And a queen.

And another queen.

And another queen (or two).

And another queen.

And another queen. Well, Miss Canada, at any rate. She’s done this before, by the looks of it. She knows about global warming. She has brought a newspaper to shelter her crown.

Heck, Queens everywhere you look. So many, we put them on a truck. I mean, what else? That’s a lot of queens.

There is, of course, a cat. We love cats.

And a dog. We love dogs.

And happy dog drool, too. Well, I know, but it’s part of the package, and that’s that.

Dogs everywhere. Clowns everywhere.

The same two clowns.

Sometimes they, um, meld.

Wow. Let’s go with that look from now on.


Yup. Oh, what’s this?  The Cannabis truck? Hey, this is the new Canada, so sure.




Note the guard chihuahua in the window. NAFTA.

Speaking of standing on guard, the “Little Green Men” of the East Ukraine have met their match here. We have a cucumber.


And peas. Joke-telling peas, by the looks of it.

So, like, we got that covered. Did I say we had a queen?

A retirement centre mannikin queen!

She looks nice.

But, of course, it’s a parade, so, like, cars, cuz that’s fun.

They make great billboards, too. Yes, that’s a dog in the window. We like dogs.


Nice wide road, slow parade, so you can even afford to have a nap, as the blue guy does below, eyes closed tight.

But all this traffic, whew, what is a girl with an upside-down American beer can to do?

I know, frustrating, right? You’re just crossing town in your private angst and what do you find? The middle class is having a party all over your road. Sheesh.

Well, yeah. They need to be able to celebrate the country that they run, a kind of smudge made out of every other country in the world. Like, you know, the Ukraine.

And the vineyards of Chile.

And England.

Always England.


It’s how Canada survives. It administrates. Not land, no, but flying knives.

It takes some skill.And, like, you know, it’s fun.


That’s the thing. Everyone is on show. The people on the street …

And the people beside the street. They’re all the same people!


It’s the only day of the year our true spirits can be shown in public. Want to be a white woman with yellow hair? Heck, even if you ARE a white woman with yellow hair you can dress up as a white woman with yellow hair. No questions asked today. Bring your dog.

We even have eternal spirits straight out of Shakespearean England. Well, on motorcycles, sure.

And in this wild and crazy land, there are our first peoples, of course. Good to see them here.


And our other first peoples. Great to see them, too.

And trucks. Those are kinda like our first peoples too.

God, we love trucks. Other countries might have military parades. We have trucks.

Happy Japanese trucks masquerading as 19th century English cat trucks.


And happier trucks yet.

And things that aren’t supposed to be trucks but sure look like trucks, and what’s that? A St. Patrick’s day hat for a helmet? Hey, why not! Read the sign: All saints. Yeah.

Everything that is important to Canada is here. Blue tarps. Canada’s aesthetic contribution to the world. Move over Hugo Boss.

Hockey mascots. I think you look out through the teeth. It’s a thing.

Beavers. More teeth.

And co-opted sacred spirits. Well, yeah, blush, we do that, too.

After 150 years, I tell you,  Canada is getting pretty good at putting together a show out of the stuff in a costume shop, not because Canada doesn’t have a culture of its own but because that is its culture.

Creativity, it is called: the space where people can be free to express themselves by putting stuff on and taking stuff off and putting on other stuff, and where stuff is capital to be turned into the next series of improvisations. It’s beautiful, eh. We can turn this…

… into a post office! It’s the 1960s forever!

That’s the Canadian way. Even the buildings get into the Cheshire Cat spirit, all on their own.

Meanwhile, up on the hill…

Magpie keeps watch from the other side of the air.



4 replies »

    • You noticed! I thought the church was very clever. You can see that they need some buildings funds, what with all those boards propping the thing up. Amazing!



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