John Allan

John Allan

Dinosaurs roar in the Okanagan

Dinosaurs Unearthed is at the Okanagan Science Centre from Saturday to Aug. 31.

Vegetation rustles as you make your way along a path, but there’s little sense of danger. But that’s until a towering Tyrannosaurus rex bolts from the brush, lashing out with his his razor-sharp teeth and making a blood-curdling scream.

However, all is safe as the T-rex is an animatronic creature and a highlight of Dinosaurs Unearthed, an exhibit that runs at the Okanagan Science Centre from Saturday to Aug. 31.

“He winks at you before he chomps your face off,” laughs John Allan, production manager with Premier Exhibitions, which is bringing the show to town.

The T-Rex is among four animatronic dinosaurs, a skeleton and a stationary dinosaur that will be on display.

“It’s really exciting. Beyond the science, dinosaurs are cool. They’re big, scary and they roar,” said Jim Swingle, Okanagan Science Centre executive director.

OSC hosted Dinosaurs Unearthed 11 years ago and it was decided to host the exhibit again because of a whole new generation of dino fans.

“It’s exciting to bring this to Vernon and the Okanagan. I love that my son gets to see a world-class exhibit in Vernon,” said Swingle.

Beyond the robotics, there will be numerous other displays, including background information on dinosaurs.

“We hope to see teens and adults here,” said Swingle.

There will also be a very distinct and one-of-a-kind creature.

“Kids will be able to create their own dinosaur,” said Swingle.

Given the popularity of these ancient reptiles, 25,000 people could pass through the doors until the end of August.

“We expect people from across the Okanagan and tourists will stop to see it,” said Swingle.

For Swingle, Dinosaurs Unearthed fulfills the mandate of the science centre.

“Our goal is to have kids inspired by science,” he said.

“They can go into science careers but so many of the critical issues we face are science based. We want them to be science literate.”

The science centre will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and further hours of operation can be found at

Admission will be $30 for families, $12 for adults, $9 for youth and children two and under are free.