Peach Festival ready to roll in the good times

The Peach Bin Races will return as the kickoff to Peachfest 2015, and the organizers have launched another new event.

Peach Festival ready to roll in the good times

The Peach Bin Races will return as the kickoff to Peachfest 2015, and the organizers have launched another new event.

Four Penticton restaurants will have their cooking tested in an Iron Chef-style competition, as the Downtown Penticton Association will be pitting each establishments’ cooking pros against one another for the Penticton Chef’s Cook-off. The cook-off runs on Aug. 7 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Gyro Park.

There will be two rounds of cooking which involve using a pantry of common ingredients to whip up the tastiest plates. One mystery ingredient will be revealed at the start of the competition, while advance notice will be given for the rest. In the first round, chefs will be tasked with preparing an appetizer and entrée. Only the two top chefs will advance to round two, where they go head-to-head in a dessert contest.

Judging the plates will be Coun. Judy Sentes, Allison Markin, a representative from the Western News, as well as one mystery judge.

“The criteria is time, use of ingredients, taste factor, and there’s a wow factor involved as well,” said Kerri Milton, executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association.

There’s room for one more chef, but so far taking part will be Chris Boehm Burger 55; Chris Remington from Penticton Lakeside Resort; and Darin Paterson from Bogners.

But before the cooking gets underway, the Downtown Penticton Association will be launching the festival with the Peach Bin Races on Aug. 5 at noon.

The event is as straight-forward as it sounds — teams of participants push their peach bins around a circuit downtown. One person will be in the bin while four people power it. There are no age restrictions to enter the event.

“They can go as fast as you can push them,” Milton said, adding that there were no wipeouts last year.

The track goes down the 100 block of Main; Lakeshore up Veterans Way to Front Street, and then back around, and it finishes where it starts in front of City Hall.

The bins are supplied by local farmers, and teams are encouraged to decorate them beforehand. Motors  are not allowed, or anything that will dangle off of the cart.

The defending champs from last year will be returning – the team from 30 Minute Hit.

“It’s a lot of fun. They’re all competitive, they want to show off their skills, and it’s a great, fun way to launch Peachfest,” said Milton.

The cost to enter is $50 per team, and the money will support charity. The winning team will be given a free spot in the Peachfest Grand Parade on Aug. 8.

“The coveted trophy is supplied by Sherwood Trophies, and it’s a big peach cup,” Milton said. “It was very exciting for the winners – and that’s why 30 Minute Hit – is returning to defend their title.”

The deadline for registration for the Peach Bin Races is July 17 and can be done through www.downtownpenticton.org.