Parks Alive is back for another summer. For those of you unaware of what this event is. Festivals Kelowna hosts a free concert series, Parks Alive, that moves around Kelowna and features varying genres each time. Regency Resorts has the honour of being a sponsor this year and loves that we can help the community dance and laugh each week. At Regency, we believe in the power of music and dance to enliven the soul and encourage enrichment in one’s life, so when Parks Alive came up, we loved having the opportunity to engage with our community and see so many happy faces. It is superb that events like this come along and offer us opportunities to listen to the fantastic talent Kelowna has to offer. Thank you, Festivals Kelowna! Below is a first-person retelling of our first event.

A Night at the Park

I meandered toward the stage, heavy blue wagon in tow as couples carrying a variety of camping chairs made their way alongside me. People were attending: good news for the band that would soon start playing the oldies. Today was my first Parks Alive event as Regency’s new Marketing Coordinator, and I was arriving alone and a little nervous. As I approached the event, many guests had already come to get the best seat and a direct view of the musicians who had already begun to sound check, their drums and voices filling the evening air. I picked my way over to where I would set up and represent Regency Retirement Resorts, an independent retirement community operating in the Okanagan. My goal: connect with the community and help provide Kelowna with an essential—music and connection with others. Parks Alive made that goal all the easier with their events.

Tucked into the back, but right next to the tent handing out schedules for the next months of concerts. Perfect! Looking across the park, I found another community sponsor doing similar, their blue t-shirts standing out against the brown buildings and grey pavement surrounding us. Why had I not thought of that? My t-shirt dress does not provide much by way of branding but would have to suffice.

I won’t lie to you and say that the setup was easy. Bulky tables and hard-to-coordinate stands made me look like a helpless child, but the event volunteers came to my rescue, and I am sure glad they did. With that number of people in attendance, the last thing I needed was the embarrassment of not knowing how to set up a table. Taking three of us to figure out the table and some ribbing by my co-worker, we were soon operational, and the night began.

The music wove through the air, slowly at first as those who sat and watched almost needed to get more comfortable, to feel its rhythm and let it settle along their muscles and joints. By the third song, people were up and dancing. Experiencing the joy, not only of the songs playing but of moving with one another. Dancing as if they were shaking the isolation of the past few years from their bodies, people swayed and stepped to the lively rhythm of the band before us. To see so many people come together to celebrate summer and music and the ability to attend events was enlivening. Some even stopped as they walked through the downtown core, pausing to listen to the music or dance with those they loved. Sweet Caroline and I’m a Believer floated through the air, caught on the current. The music was cruising through the park, and we were transported away from our daily lives.

I feel truly grateful for writing about and attending this event, for it is a joyous experience to share with others: watching a granddaughter teach her grandmother to dance or seeing a mother hold her child and sway to the wonderful voices of the band. From my experience of last night’s festivities, it was great to not only sponsor the event but also see other companies doing the same. It feels wonderful to know that in attending events like this and helping Parks Alive! We help provide music for the community, for people to connect and dance, and smile. So come and dance with us. Let’s connect!