The Downtown Penticton Association is kicking off the season a bit early with a block party on Ellis Street which will include a chalk art competition. File photo

Warming up for summer

The Downtown Penticton Association is planning the first block party of the summer

Summer may still be a few weeks away, but the Downtown Penticton Association is kicking off the season a bit early with a block party on Ellis Street.

Ellis on the Rise is a collaboration between the DPA and the Ellis Street merchants, featuring live music, entertainment and more, starting at 5 p.m. on May 26.

“It looks like it’s going to be quite a great event,” said Lynn Allin, executive director the DPA. “We are closing off Ellis Street from the Cannery Brewing building up to where it meets the roundabout.”

The music kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with Garage Groove, and continues on with different acts through to 8 p.m.

“With music, people love to eat,” said Allin, adding that they’ve asked local food trucks and vendors to attend the party.

In addition to the tacos, Greek food and other fare, the Penticton Fire Department will be serving up barbecued hot dogs and bringing in their antique fire truck.

The block party also features the first annual chalk art competition. Each team of will be given a 10×10 foot space on Ellis Street to create their artwork. Allin said there is still room for more teams.

“It’s quite a long street. I first thought we only could have 10, but we have room for more. So we are looking for more artists,” she said. More details and the application form are online at downtownpenticton.org/chalk.

“Some people will come prepared with the drawing in their hand … some people create right on the spot,” said Allin. “What we are doing is just offering a variety of colours of chalk and people can get in there and create something fun.”

The street artists will get a bit of a head start, according to Allin, and will be creating right through to 7 p.m., allowing visitors strolling through the party to watch the artists work while making their picks for the two winners.

“I think it’s going to be a great night. We just have to hope for great sun. I think we are getting there,” said Allin.

Allin said this is just the start of a summer of fun downtown. Besides staples like weekend markets and the Canada Day celebrations (with fireworks) Allin said a street dance is in the works.

“It will be a large event with a few different stages and lots of activities. Our shops will stay open and really show off what we have downtown,” said Allin.