Every year there are things that happen in Vernon that tip you off to say hey – it’s Spring! I’m going to tell you what these 6 things are and we’re starting now!
I know Spring technically starts on the Spring Equinox which in 2022 was March 20, however, the first thing that happens to tip you off that winter is done is when the street sweeper appears and that can happen as early as late February, weather permitting of course. When the City decides it’s Spring, it’s Spring! Spring officially starts when they start sweeping the downtown core, 32nd Street, and Highway 6 and then continue out from there. It’s a beautiful thing when the street sweeper appears!
The second thing that tips a Vernonite off that it’s officially Spring is the opening of the golf courses. Such a big deal. And obviously, some courses, the ones at the higher elevations will open later. The first on the list are Vernon Golf and Country Club and Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club which are opening on March 24, followed by Predator Ridges courses opening on April 7, and then the Rise follows on April 16. These dates are approximate and vary depending on the weather, however, suffice it to say by mid-April pretty much all the golf courses are open!
The third is the closing of Silver Star Mountain Resort, which is estimated to close around April 3rd. Now, this gives rise to a phenomenon that you can’t experience just anywhere – but you can in the North Okanagan - the morning ski combined with the afternoon golf. The best of both worlds really. You’ll be peeling off the layers on the ski hill and putting them back on the golf course, however, you can still brag that you can in fact do both sports on the same day anywhere within that period of time between March 24 and April 3rd when the courses and the ski hill are both open.
Then fourth on our list is that on or around April 14th, again mid-April, the Vernon Farmer’s Market is back in business outside in the Kal Tire Place parking lot and will continue outside until the end of October. For over 40 years, the market has been operating in both summer and winter, making it one of the oldest Farmer’s markets in the Okanagan. If you haven’t visited the Farmer’s Market, you should, you can find everything from fresh produce, fruit, eggs, meat, cheese, baked goods, plants, flowers, handcrafted goods & a ton more.
The fifth thing that starts to happen is the lakes start to fill up. Whenever the snow starts to melt, the water gradually seeps down and ends up in one of our 3 lakes. With any luck, the lakes will reach full pool by end of June-ish, which for Okanagan Lake is 342.48 meters above sea level. The record high level was in 2017 when we had all the flooding, and the lake at that point was 343.251 meters above sea level, so like .771 meters above the full pool, which as you can imagine, created quite an issue. Then in 2021, the most the lake reached was just over 342 meters, so nearly half a meter below the full pool, that’s a lot. This of course depends on the snowpack, how fast it melts, how much rain we get in the Spring, etc. As to what will happen this year, your guess is as good as mine, however, I do know that in every situation, every year, the water rises in the Spring due to the runoff.
And last but not least, the perennials come out. Flowers? No, houses! We as Realtors call houses that come on the market every Spring but are always priced a bit or a lot above the market value and as a result, never sell – we call those Perennials! They come up every Spring like clockwork. The market has been strong the last few years so many of those perennials actually sold, so when the market starts to flatten again, and it will, we will see a new batch of perennials shoot up in the Spring only to expire in the Fall and then get relisted the following year. And … the flowers come up too.
So if you don’t have a calendar handy and want to know what season it is, watch for any of these six things to happen and you’ll know that it is, in fact, Springtime in the Okanagan. Be sure to download our FREE Greater Vernon Relocation Package, and Happy Spring!