The fifth annual Okanagan Military Tattoo returns to Vernon July 28-29. (Photo submitted)

Pipes blaring in anticipation for Okanagan Military Tattoo

Fifth annual event returns July 28-29

Imagine if Hollywood decided to create an old-fashioned epic motion picture with a patriotic theme and you had a chance to see it performed live.

“A huge cast, stunning costumes, intricate choreography, a dramatic musical soundtrack, moments of sheer spectacle, stirring pride and patriotism, something to make you laugh, something to make you cry, all in an amazing show that flies by way too fast,” said Derek Hall, spokesperson.

“That’s the Okanagan Military Tattoo.”

The term tattoo evolved from a European tradition dating back to the 17th century when low country innkeepers would cry “Doe den tap toe, turn off the taps” as the fifes and drums of the local regiment signalled a return to quarters.

Today, the word tattoo refers to a ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands. Each tattoo is influenced by the culture and traditions of the country they represent. Fans of the massed spectacles of music might flock to the world’s great tattoos: the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland, the Basil Tattoo in Switzerland and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax. But the greatest Tattoo in Western Canada is the Okanagan Military Tattoo.

The fifth annual Okanagan Military Tattoo, Vernon’s largest annual indoor event, will take place July 28 at 7 p.m. and July 29 at 2 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.

The tattoo will feature more than 500 performers including massed pipes and drums, precision drills, highland dancers and more. Headliners this year include the 133d US Army National Guard Band from Washington State, the Regimental Band of the 15th Field Artillery from Vancouver. The Salvation Army Brass Band will participate in the Tribute to the Veterans segment of the two-hour tattoo program.

Tickets to the Okanagan Military Tattoo are on sale through the TicketSeller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca. Special pricing is available for groups of 10 or more and all seating is reserved.

Related: Okanagan Military Tattoo gears up for year five


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