Forestry’s critical role in the economy will be on display for the entire region to see.

The Interior Logging Association’s 58th annual conference and trade show runs Thursday to Saturday.

“This is one of the largest conventions we’ve had since the downturn six years ago,” said Wayne Lintott, general manager.

Large crowds are expected for the inside and outside displays at Kal Tire Place Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.

“We are over and above what we had last year,” said Lintott of the 36 companies, including 12 new ones, covering one to eight spaces. “Finning has gone from six to eight spots and Southstar Equipment has gone from four to eight. Dealer participation is strong.”

All of the outdoor and indoor exhibits are open to local residents.

“We want the public to come down and take a look at the latest in forestry equipment,” said Lintott. “The industry is still very important right here in the Okanagan.”

Upwards of 300 delegates are expected to attend seminars and meetings at the Vernon Atrium Hotel, including those participating in the second annual Interior Safety Conference.

“We are happy to have them here,” said Lintott.

Speakers for the Interior Safety Conference Saturday include Mike Tasker, with WorkSafeBC, and Steven Mueller, with Pinnacle Renewable Energy. On Friday Forests Minister Steve Thomson, who will speak at the ILA’s luncheon.