Heritage walking tours begin

This summer locals and visitors alike can cruise Penticton’s history and culture every Saturday on guided tours of the downtown core.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once visited The Elite Café.

Gus Erickson, local businessman who built the Erickson Building in 1922 (current site of the Bellevue Café) was once arrested for buying bootleg liquor.

The Empire Theatre, now Lloyd Gallery on Front Street, showed the first talking movies in Penticton in 1930.

These are just a few of the tidbits from Penticton’s past that you will learn on the Cruisin’ the Strip guided tours of Penticton’s history and culture.

This summer locals and visitors alike can cruise Penticton’s history and culture every Saturday on guided tours of the downtown core.

“Imagine being able to walk back in time,” said tour guide, Chandra Wong. “Penticton expanded south from Okanagan Lake, and there are buildings on each block that mark that progress.

“During the heritage walking tour, we can literally step back in time.”

Starting at Nanaimo Square, a tour guide will outline some of the intimate details of Penticton’s past. The tours are about one hour long and travel Main Street, Front Street and Penticton’s waterfront.

Tours start at 10 a.m. every Saturday from Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day weekend, meeting by the salmon sculpture in Nanaimo Square. Cost is by donation.

The tours complement the fifties-themed ‘Cruisin’ the Strip’ historical walking maps released in 2010 by the City of Penticton. Free copies can be obtained at the Penticton Visitors Centre and Penticton Museum. The walking tours are a coordinated project by the City of Penticton, the Penticton Museum and the Downtown Penticton Association through funds provided by the Union of BC Municipalities.

For more information contact Peter Ord at the Penticton Museum and Archives, 250-490-2454.