Peachfest proves to be a crowd pleaser
It’s a wrap.
Monday morning president Rick Riddall of the Penticton Peach Festival was still trying to catch his breath after five full days of outrageous fun as thousands of people again enjoyed one of the hottest events under the Okanagan sun.
“It’s as good as last year and maybe even a little better,” said the president after dealing with his neglected lawn a few minutes earlier. “It was fantastic, I would walk from the front of the park to the back and get stopped at least three times by locals and tourists saying: ‘Rick this is wonderful, thank you very much,’ and that’s a good feeling.”
He estimated the Thursday concert by Trooper was the single biggest draw in the event’s history, packing 7,500-plus people onto the grounds.
As in past years the action was not just at Okanagan Lake Park but many other venues including the aboriginal cultural village at Gyro Park, two Main Street parades, square dancing at the seniors drop in centre, sandcastle-building at Skaha Lake beach and midway at Rotary Park.
Other related activities included the Miss Penticton pageant and the Sheila Bishop Memorial Wood Bat Slo-pitch Tournament.
Among those in attendance on the final day of the 64th Peach Fest were Ann and Bob Johnston of Alberta and their two sons.
“This is just incredible,” said Ann watching the long line of children file into the park at the end of the Kiddies’ Day Parade. “We actually didn’t even know this was happening until we saw the parade and we followed them here.
“The kids are loving it.”
The final event for this year was Monday’s cruises aboard the Casabella Princess for the over 100 volunteers who were an integral part of the festival’s success.
Now for Riddall and the rest of the directors, it’s back to the drawing board to prepare for 2012.
On a more somber note, two musical groups, the Canadian Forces Naden Band and the Kiss tribute group Love Gun, donated over $1,500 which will go to help the young Penticton woman who was savagely attacked in front of her 22-month old son last weekend.
Alec Rufiange works on sculpting a pair of sandy legs sticking out of sandy water, part of his team’s efforts to create an overturned canoe for the Penticton Sandcastle Contest.
The Shriners’ Keystone Cops, always a crowd favourite in the Peach Fest parade, try to figure out how they got handcuffed together when they were supposed to be cuffing a robber.