From the parade to the top-notch entertainment, the 2014 version of the Penticton Peach Festival will go down as one of the largest and best in recent history.
“We had good attendance at all of our events,” said PeachFest president Don Kendall.
On Aug. 6 and 7 when Emerson Drive and Trooper performed at the Okanagan Lake Park main stage, Kendall said crowds were estimated at between 7,000 and 8,000 for each of the shows, with a similarly large crowd for The Stampeders, who played Aug. 9.
He also heard the PeachFest parade on Aug. 9 attracted one of the largest crowds ever with people lined up four deep in some locations.
The Trampoline Wall and Power Track Show was popular with festival-goers at Gyro Park the Aboriginal Cultural Village and the powwow featured dancers in full regalia.
The PenTown Throwdown skateboard and BMX contest at the youth park was a great event for the younger population.
The Miss Penticton pageant, held at the Cleland Theatre Aug. 8, drew a near capacity crowd.
Moments before their first appearance aboard the city float at the parade, newly crowned Miss Penticton Shauna Morrow admitted she was pretty excited and a little bit overwhelmed.
I’m really happy but I’m still kind of in disbelief,” said Morrow, who was Miss Penticton Speedway. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet.”
She was joined on the PeachFest float by princesses Allison Smith (Miss Downtown Penticton Association) and Sinclaire Lovett (Miss Loco Landing).
Morrow said that as a lifetime resident of Penticton, she’s proud that she’ll have the opportunity to represent the city at a variety of events during her reign.
“I’m also grateful for the whole pageant experience,” she said.
Smith also expressed gratitude taking part in the pageant.
“When I was little, I was always playing dress up and I got to do it for real,” said Smith.
Lovett said she couldn’t believe how quickly the pageant process happened.
“It went by in the blink of an eye but I loved the whole experience,” said Lovett.
David Prystay, general manager of the Penticton Lakeside Resort, located west of Okanagan Lake Park, said the festival was great as usual, with good crowds and good family fun.
Kendall thanked the PeachFest board of director, volunteers and sponsors for their efforts in making this year’s event one of the best in its 67-year history.
He estimated that the overall turnout for all of the events to be in the neighbourhood of 80,000.
“We had a strong entertainment lineup top to bottom and that brought a lot of people out,” said Kendall.
Meanwhile, Penticton RCMP responded to a number of calls during the five-day event but reported the festival was well-organized.