The Canadian Tire Mega Motocross is back, bringing high-flying freestyle stunts to this year’s Peach Festival. Western News file photo

Penticton Peach Festival lineup offers something for everyone

71 years old and still rocking the South Okanagan

Penticton’s Peach Festival kicks off today, starting five days of family entertainment and fun in a spectacular setting.

“We truly have something for everyone,” said Don Kendall, Peach Festival president.

The festival, which started in 1947, has grown to be one of the largest free family festivals in Canada, drawing 80,000 people last year. The festival has especially grown over the last few years, with the musical and entertainment options becoming more diverse.

That diversity of the entertainment offered is important, Kendall said, adding that it’s not unusual to see three generations enjoying Peachfest events together.

The fun starts with the SkyHawks, Canada’s only military parachute demonstration team, building fantastic formations in the skies over Okanagan Lake Park, starting at noon, with another performance at 5 p.m. The SkyHawks will also be in the park at 2 p.m. for an autograph session. At noon, the annual Peach Bin race will be getting ready to careen through downtown Penticton along the 100-block of Main Street.

That’s just the start. The afternoon is filled with entertainment in Okanagan Lake Park, from music and dance to a demonstration from the Black Widow Rope Spinners.

With Cod Gone Wild as an opening for him, Canadian music legend Kim Mitchell takes the stage Wednesday evening, the first of a music lineup featuring April Wine, George Canyon and up-and-comer Madeline Merlo, who is up for the Canadian Country Music Association’s female artist of the year award.

“We were lucky to book Madeline Merlo,” said Don Kendall, Peachfest president. “It’s probably the best lineup we’ve ever had.”

But getting top performers and other entertainment doesn’t come by chance.

“It’s a year-round project,” he said, adding that his fellow organizers started work on booking some acts, like the SkyHawks, the week after last year’s Peachfest. Getting Kim Mitchell to Peachfest, he said, has taken four years.

A big part of making Peachfest a growing success is the volunteers, both those that help out throughout the days of the festival, and the board members that volunteer year-round to bring all aspects of the festival together.

“There are a lot of moving parts,” Kendall said.

Keeping the festival free, though, is thanks to sponsors: Peters Bros., Tim Hortons and many more.

That includes sponsoring fun events like the Home Hardware Kid Zone, open 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday through Friday with children’s performers like Mat Duffus and lots of things to keep the kids busy.

There’s also the Kiddie Parade on Sunday, and, of course, the Peters Bros. Grande Parade on Sunday.

“It’s the largest parade between Vancouver and Calgary,” said Kendall.

Not all the Peachfest action takes place in Okanagan Lake Park. The community has come together to support the festival with events around the city. Besides the Peach Bin races, there is the Pentown Throwdown Skateboard and BMX Competition, a baseball tournament in Lions Park, the Ultra Swim — Canada’s longest open water lake swim, a square dance festival at the Seniors Drop-in Centre, the ReelPeachFest Film Festival and the Sandcastle competition Thursday evening on Skaha Lake Beach.

For more information and a schedule of events during the five-day festival, from Aug. 8 to 12, visit https://peachfest.com/ online.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Three-time Juno Award winner Kim Mitchell will kick off Peach Festival on Aug. 8. Photo courtesy of Al Pettman

Just Posted

School district facing capacity challenges

Rising enrolment, outdated data and classroom changes prompt discussions

Seatbelts on school buses would come with safety, cost concerns

Retrofitting belts would cost approximately $240,000 for 24 buses

Highway 1 intersection top of Tank Hill tallies most crashes

ICBC data shows Salmon Arm motor-vehicle collisions from 2013 to 2017

Readers weigh in: Should shock collars on dogs be banned?

We asked and you had a lot to say. Here’s some of what

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death has not been released

UPDATE: Highway 97A near Armstrong opened following serious crash

Three in hospital, one in critical condition from Friday morning accident

Senior Golds enter Okanagan Valley Championships as top-ranked team

Salmon Arm basketball team heads straight to semifinals after stellar season

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Parole angers parents of Okanagan manslaughter victim

Tal Kalum LaRiviere was arrested in Alberta Feb. 18. He had previously been granted day parole

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Letter: Distraught society swayed by distraction

The United States is embroiled in the Trump catastrophe and the United… Continue reading

Most Read