Motocross to fly high at Peach Fest

High-flying freestyle motocross is coming to the Penticton Peach Festival.

Motorcross freestyle is set to take over Penticton's downtown for two shows during the Penticton Peach Festival.

Motorcross freestyle is set to take over Penticton's downtown for two shows during the Penticton Peach Festival.

High-flying, freestyling Mega Motocross is coming to the Penticton Peach Festival.

Professional riders Kris Garwasiuk, Chris Nolan, and Jay Soltes will perform amazing trick jumps off ramps using over 300 feet of performance space in the 100 block of Main Street to wow the crowds.

The three have been on tour all year, throwing down for crowds across North America. Nolan and Garwasiuk hail from Kelowna, while Soltes grew up in Osoyoos.

Soltes now residing in Lavington, is an FMX athlete that started riding dirt bikes 22 years ago.  He brings along his good friend Nolan, and together the pair push each other to do things out of their comfort zone.

Nolan recalls riding up and down the Okanagan with Soltes. Nolan has been riding since he was eight years old, turning pro at 13 and riding freestyle ever since.

It’s a dangerous sport to get into at a young age, but it was always his passion.

“A lot of fear was a big part of it, but you’ve just got to hang it out there and put the fear behind you sometimes because it has turned out to be a pretty fun occupation,” Nolan said.

After riding for 14 years, he still gets a bit nervous heading down to get big air off a 75-foot jump.

“I still definitely get nervous for sure, but the nerves have calmed down a bit since I’ve been doing it for awhile,” Nolan said.

The set-up is sure to be a unique sight downtown.

“These huge ramps have also been used at the Centre of Gravity, Calgary Stampede, X-Games and numerous other international and domestic events and never fail to bring excitement to the audience,” said Derek Rousselle, promotions and events manager for Sledgehammer apparel.

The riders will perform two shows on Thursday, Aug. 4 and be available for autographs at a meet and greet after the second show.

“This is a first for Peachfest to have this kind of action in our downtown.  We are so excited to host these professionals on our downtown streets,” said Kerri Milton, executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association.

Joining the event is Garwasiuk who has been riding professionally for 19 years and was the first Canadian to turn pro in FMX.  He is featured in two video games, took seventh place at the X-Games, fourth in doubles at the Gravity Games and is a former Canadian national champion.

This is a free event, open to all ages, taking place Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to noon and a second show from 2 to 3 p.m.  A meet and greet is scheduled at 3 p.m. with the riders in Okanagan Lake Park.