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

Salmon Arm’s panhandling bylaw put on hold

City council allows time to pursue more compassionate solutions

No end in sight, smoke is here to stay

There is no anticipated change in weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap this week

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Animal rights activists to protest Kelowna’s RibFest launch

Animal rights activists plan on sinking their teeth into an annual event they say is unethical and unhealthy.

Searing memories of the 1998 Silver Creek wildfire in the Shuswap

Tales from the fight against the blaze that nearly destroyed Salmon Arm

No growth on the Monashee Complex wildfires

Mabel Creek, Sugar Mountain and Harris Creek fires continue to burn near Lumby and Cherryville

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

Two civilians were killed in a shooting in Fredericton that also claimed the lives of two police officers.

2 girls, hand-drawn map in hand, sneak out of B.C. home for adventure

The pair’s escape has transit police reminding commuters to report unusual behaviour

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

Health centre plan for Sicamous’ Main Street takes shape

District applying for rural dividend funding for the design of new building

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

UPDATE: Three new fires sparked in the South Okanagan- Similkameen

BC Wildfire Service is responding to a blaze off Olalla forest service road

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said day to recognize painful legacy would boost understanding

Most Read