Tattoo enthusiasts from all over gathered at the Kelowna Curling Club over the weekend for the 8th Annual Okanagan Tattoo Show.
Organizer Terence Smith was delighted with the turnout, saying more than 1,500 tickets were sold online and as many, if not more, people paid at the door.
Smith said this should have been the show’s 10th year of hosting, but the pandemic canceled the previous two years.
“We didn’t pull the trigger until the restrictions were lifted in February,” Smith said. “Normally for this event we start planning in November or September for the following year.”
Smith said about 180 tattoo artists were in attendance for the weekend, some local and many from across the country. In previous years, Smith said some artists had traveled from as far away as Mexico and Germany.
“When we started at the Parkinson Rec Center, we only had 50 tattoo artists and the fact that we’re up to 180 should say a lot,” Smith noted. “The tattoo community is also very tight-knit and they tend to talk to each other, so on that scale they talk about our festival and they want to be here.”
Attendees were able to book with artists throughout the weekend, with some offering walk-in tattoos.
Vendors sold bags, hats and other merchandise, a beer garden was set up in the middle of the curling rink, and great live entertainment from local and away bands played to fill the event.
The event started at the curling club at 5 p.m. on Friday (July 22) and ended on Sunday at 7 p.m.