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Future of Penticton’s Peach City Beach Cruise ‘up in the air’ after Saturday night’s burnouts

Cruise president says this year’s event was a success, but changes needed for show to continue
Peach City Beach Cruise returned to Penticton’s Lakeshore Drive to entertain thousands of car lovers June 24 and 25. (Penticton Western News photos)

The 20th edition of Western Canada’s premier car show saw hundreds of vehicles and thousands of people touch down in Penticton from June 24 to 26.

The Peach City Beach Cruise’s anticipated return to the community, though, didn’t go on without a hitch.

With only six motel rooms available from Oliver to West Kelowna during the weekend, according to event president Wayne Wood, things got busy and even “out of hand” on Saturday night, putting the event’s future in limbo.

Though Wood called the show a huge success, there’s one thing that needs to change before event organizers can look ahead to 2023.

“On Saturday night, burnouts along Lakeshore Drive, near the motels at the west end, were happening,” Wood explained. “Unfortunately, this year the RCMP was busy with other calls and were not available for well over an hour. For the show to continue, directors will need to develop a plan to address this in a way that does not rely on RCMP support.”

The RCMP’s delayed response is unusual, said Wood, who said that police typically take about five minutes to deal with burnout-related calls.

Developing a plan not to be too reliant on police, however, isn’t as easy as it sounds.

“It may, or may not, be possible,” Wood said. “So, the future of the show is up in the air.”

A total of 737 cars were on display down Lakeshore Drive and at Rotary Park, with over 40 vendors and live music featured at Penticton’s Gyro Park all weekend long.

Wood says the size of the crowd on Saturday afternoon was particularly impressive, as he was tasked with driving around a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like in a golf cart through Rotary Park for much of the day. Two lanes plus the sidewalk were filled with car lovers eager to catch some of the country’s most impressive vehicles.

Bruce Charles, a vehicle owner from West Kelowna, captured the People’s Choice award on Sunday morning for his 1955 Chevrolet Gassers.

The Registrant’s Choice award, meanwhile, went to Darren Hoffman from Nanaimo thanks to his 1955 Chevrolet Snub Nose.

There were rat rods and big rigs and even a DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Though there was no customary lake-to-lake parade, registered show cars still cruised through parts of the Penticton’s downtown core all weekend long.

“Directors will now take several months off, then meet in the fall to consider the future,” the show writes on its website.

READ MORE: Peach City Beach Cruise rolls into Penticton to celebrate 20th anniversary


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