Just in time for the heat, Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue is closing to vehicles to make more room for patios and summer fun.

“We’re at work right now blocking off each of the intersections [at] Pandosy [Street] and Ellis [Street] as we get ready for ‘Meet Me at Bernard’,” said Mark Burley, Downtown Kelowna Association executive director.

The closure means there is more room for pedestrians, cyclists and scooters to enjoy downtown Kelowna this summer and it means more room at coveted sunny patios from Kerry Park to St. Paul Street.

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“We are super excited Bernard is shutting down the street so we’re going to be getting an extra eight tables at the front of our patio which will help bring more people into our restaurant,” said Maya Houssian, CRAFT Beer Market night manager.

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Downtown Kelowna businesses push for street closure earlier than scheduled

Bernard being closed doesn’t just mean that restaurants can extend their patios, it also means that artists, performers and musicians will be able to cultivate different atmospheres on each of the four blocks.

“The 400 block [has] been called the Neighbourhood Plaza this year, with all kinds of activities going on,” said Burley.

The 500 block will be the community square with fun activities for the entire family to enjoy said Burley.

Read more:
Downtown Kelowna to feature ‘new look’ with Bernard Avenue patio program starting June 29

The ‘Meet Me on Bernard’ summer-long event is a collaborative event between the Downtown Kelowna Association, City of Kelowna and Tourism Kelowna.

Together they will install mini-parks, sitting areas and attractions planned to be set up from Pandosy Street to St. Paul Street, events that are a relief to some of the store owners who struggled last year with the closure now they will be trading in the sound of traffic for the music from buskers for a few months.

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“It’s so quiet and peaceful I love that part we can open our door and you don’t hear all the noise from the traffic and motorcycles,” said Delight Cowen, The Downtown Shoe Store manager.

The Bernard Avenue closure is expected to be completed by July 1 and will remain closed to vehicles until Sept. 6.

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