Last year the Okanagan Lake Park was packed with Elvis fans for the annual Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival, and by all accounts the area will be filled again for the same reason. Penticton in general will be bustling with activities all weekend long from June 27 to July 1. (Western News file photo)

Residents can expect jam-packed weekend in Penticton

The city is hosting multiple festivals, performers and markets over the next few days

The July long weekend is nearly here and Penticton is set to have a busy few days.

Aside from the City of Penticton’s plans for Canada Day in Gyro Park, residents in the area will have no shortage of events to attend with the things like the Elvis Festival, Ribfest, Mariel Buckley at the Dream Café, the Pride Silent Disco and more all jam-packed into the same weekend.

The 18th annual Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival gets things rolling first with the pre-party at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre on June 27 at 4 p.m., where fans can meet and greet with some of the arriving entertainers. The festival continues throughout the weekend, with the qualifying competition on June 28 and the semi-finals and headliner show on June 29. The festival wraps up on June 30 with a gospel show and pancake breakfast, followed by the competition finals and the after party.

Residents can take in some classic country music at Mariel Buckley’s 8 p.m. performance at the Dream Café on June 27. According to Travel Penticton’s website, the Calgary-native offers a crunchy, roots alternative style and recently released her sophomore full-length album, Driving in the Dark.

The much-anticipated Rotary Ribfest will have residents drooling when it kicks off on June 28 at noon, featuring ribs from competitive barbeque artists from all over North America. The event runs until July 1 at the east end of Lakeshore Drive on the shore of Okanagan Lake and will include live music, a kids’ zone, dancing, beverage gardens and more.

Next to take the stage at the popular Dream Café is the fresh folk sound of The Kwerks, married couple Laura and Ryan Koch. The pair will be offering upbeat acoustic vibes with a gaggle quirky misfits thrown into the mix at their 8 p.m. show, according to Travel Penticton’s website.

READ MORE: Penticton has fun-filled day planned for Canada Day

As Pride Month comes to a close, residents have one last opportunity to show the love on the dancefloor and join in the Pride Silent Disco on June 28 at Bench 1775 Winery. From 7 to 10 p.m., DJ Shakes will be spinning tunes into the wireless headphones of all participants while attendees can enjoy wine by the glass and beer for purchase.

Both the Downtown Penticton Association’s Community Market and the Penticton Farmers’ Market will be running on June 29 on Penticton’s Main Street, with the addition of the first-ever Penticton ARTS Market in the parking lot of the Penticton Art Gallery. This new market will showcase some of the best of the area’s artists including: handmade crafts, paintings, drawings, photography, pottery, glassware, sculptures, carvings, leather and more.

Also beginning on June 29 is the Penticton Speedway’s Drift Union Invitational Weekend, which will see team tandem competition practices throughout the day until the event kicks off at 6 p.m. The event continues on to June 30 and will feature changing open layouts all day from 12 to 5 p.m.

Power duo Raincity are bringing their explosive energy to the Dream Café on June 29 at 6 p.m. for a Funk-Rock Atomic Dance Party. The five-member band is fronted by female leads on saxophone and locals, and draws inspiration from the ecletic influences of Amy Winehouse, Moon Hooch and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

To close out Penticton’s Pride festivities, residents are hitting the Okanagan River Channel at 11 a.m. on June 30 for a South Okanagan Similkameen Pride Fruit Float. Attendees are encouraged to wear their most colourful floaties and beach accessories to float down the channel in style.

Kelowna’s singer/songwriter Patrick Gilmour will be performing at Cannery Brewing on June 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. This no-cover event is your chance to get out and enjoy beer, food and live music.

Those in the mood for arts and culture with a twist might enjoy the punk band CHAIRMAN and their live set at BeeLong Gallery and Studios on July 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is pay-what-you-can and will feature members and ex-members of Vibes, Moon Museum, Counterfeit Jeans and more.

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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