Peach Festival the fruit of volunteer labour

The Penticton Peach Festival has come a long way in its 68 years, but if there is one constant, it is families making memories.

Whether it is the sandcastle contest (left)

Whether it is the sandcastle contest (left)

The Penticton Peach Festival has come a long way in its 68 years, but if there is one constant, it is families making memories.

Don Kendall, Peachfest president, said that is his favourite aspect of all the four action-packed days, Aug. 5 to 9 this year.

“Oh definitely. We hear great stories,” said Kendall.

Among those include a family who comes from Edmonton every year and walked up to volunteers to thank them for doing such a great job. A motel operator has a family coming this August that has already asked for next year’s festival dates so they can pre-book their rooms.

“You know you go down to the park at 9 p.m. and see grandparents, parents and kids enjoying great entertainment and all together. I love seeing that park full at night,” said Kendall. “And, it’s all free. You can never see entertainment like we have for free. It really is an incredible thing. People have taken a lot of pride in what Peachfest has become and that is why it is such an amazing event today.”

With the help of sponsors like David Kampe, owner of Peters Bros., Peachfest can bring in well-known headlining acts. This year that includes Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts (Aug. 5), AC/DC and ZZ Top tribute bands, The Phonix, George Canyon and Canadian rock band 54-40 — they packed Okanagan Lake Park with one of the largest crowds in Peachfest history in 2012.

“How many people couldn’t afford to see acts like that? This way not only can they afford to go but they can take their whole family down to the park, have a great night and join thousands of others having a great time,” said Kendall. “You go see names like that anywhere else and you would probably pay $40 a ticket.”

Peach Festival receives hundreds of performer applications each year and organizers try to ensure locals also get their chance on the stage. This year that includes Penticton’s Beamer Wigley, who will open the country themed night ending with George Canyon on Aug. 7. Local country/pop music singer Nikita Afonso and rock band Cosmic Brew will open for 54-40 on Aug. 6.

Besides music, there is also entertainment acts like the popular West Coast Lumberjack Show, dancers, the Snowbirds will perform before opening ceremonies on Aug. 5, magicians, sand castle contest, slo-pitch tournament, square dance festival and more. Shooting Star Amusements is also set up in nearby Rotary Park.

The final day of Peachfest will provide plenty of fun for the young and young at heart with the A&W Kiddies Day. This starts with the parade escorted by the Penticton Fire Department, the Cranbrook Girls’ Bugle Band and the Vancouver Travelling Band. Free face-painting, bouncy castles, a water slide and more are found at the end of the parade route.

One of the events close to the heart of Kendall is the Peters Bros. Grand Parade which will have close to 100 entries this year.

“I love the grand parade. There is something really special about it. There is no slowing down either. The crowds are growing every year,” said Kendall. “The last two years the crowds have been the biggest we have ever seen and we bring great entertainment for them like the Vancouver Police Drill Team and the Seattle All-City Band. It is really a neat thing for a town of this size to put on,” said Kendall.

It isn’t the only aspect that is growing. With the addition of the PenTown Throwdown skateboard and BMX event in recent years and the Peach Bin races last year, there are two new events for the 68th edition of Peachfest. Four local chefs will face-off creating peach-themed dishes in Gyro Park competing for prizes and bragging rights. Just in the past week the Penticton Museum and Hoodoo Adventures has partnered with Peachfest to host a vintage boat show at the marina at the Lakeside Resort and a regatta with war canoes, kayaks and paddle board races will occur at the SS Sicamous.

Also new this year is the Reel PeachFest film competition. As the stage in Okanagan Lake Park gets ready for the main act each night the big screen will play professional and wannabe filmmakers’ submissions of commercials or film shorts concerning either Okanagan wine, craft beer, distillery, cider or juice/soda or showcasing an Okanagan experience including water sports, festivals, family fun or outdoor adventure.  Prize money will be awarded for first, second, third and the fan’s choice.

With so many events taking place, Peachfest is in need of volunteers for a variety of tasks on all five days and evenings. Their busiest day being Aug. 9 with the parade. To find out how you can volunteer or for the full entertainment schedule visit www.peachfest.com.

 

Just Posted

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises more than $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read