Pedestrian plaza coming soon
Brayden Ursel - May 13, 2024 - Biz Releases

Meet Me on Bernard, Kelowna’s annual conversion of Bernard Avenue to a pedestrian plaza, is returning this year in two phases.

The 200 block from Water Street to Lawrence Avenue will open to pedestrians only on the May Long Weekend, while the 300 block will open on Canada Day.

“This will be year four of us closing Bernard, and it’s also year four of uncertainty,” Downtown Kelowna Association executive director Mark Burley said.

“The economy was all over the place in 2020, (in) 2021 the government couldn’t make up its mind if we could be this close together or not, (in) 2022 still we had things going on, and 2023 last year of course we had wildfires.”

Burley said the larger patios are great for businesses, locals and customers.

“It allows for visitors and residents to move around, be outside, and it also allows for the restaurants to expand their patio and the businesses in between them to benefit from the traffic that it creates.”

The DKA has worked to bring new attractions to downtown, including the debut of a weekly night market this year. Thursday Night Markets will be from Water Street down to Kerry Park from 4-9 p.m., starting May 30.

“We are looking forward to seeing what the community’s reaction to that is,” Burley said.

Another new feature comes from city council’s approval to have Lime Scooters added to the mix, giving people the opportunity to cruise through Meet Me on Bernard from one end to the other, checking out all the shops and restaurants along the way.

“If you’ve never been down here when the street is closed, come down and you don’t have to deal with the coffee can filters on pickup trucks or the loud Harley Davidsons,” Burley said. “Yhey’ll be on other streets, so come down, enjoy the peace and quiet, enjoy the sunshine and the great weather, particularly in May and June, and just experience what Kelowna is all about.”

Meet Me on Bernard this year will run from May long weekend until Labour Day Monday.

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