Penticton beach parties start summer with flair

The Barefoot Beach Resort is raising the bar when it comes to kicking off the summer season with a little flair.

Neil MacDonald

Neil MacDonald

The Barefoot Beach Resort is raising the bar when it comes to kicking off the summer season with a little flair.

Flinging bottles with precision, crafty mixologists will be taking part in a bartending battle at Skaha Beach on Saturday.

“There has never been a backdrop in Canada before for an event like this. So we thought why not do this because that is what Barefoot is all about, being unique,” said Barefoot Beach Resort president Max Picton.

Five of the top flair bartenders will be doing their thing on the beach, each vying for the crowd’s affection in order to win the friendly competition.

Besides sending bottles somersaulting in the air while creating a lineup of beverages to be raffled off for charity, there will be fire dancers for a halftime show and music by DJ Shakes.

“It will actually cost you more money to go out and have a night on the town if you don’t come to our event than if you do. For $10 you get in, get a shuttle downtown to the Mule for the after party, your cover and no line at the Mule and on top of everything else you have a chance to win a free ticket for a weekend pass to Boonstock,” said Picton, who added the yurts at the resort are completely booked for this long weekend and people have even pre-booked camping spots.

Co-organizer Neil MacDonald said getting the top bartenders, who are part of the Bartenders Guild, to come to Penticton was not a hard sell.

“We are hoping to make this bigger next year. We want to make it so everyone comes and has a weekend experience. This is a good precursor for the bartenders too because there is a big event in Toronto in the next few weeks,” said MacDonald.

Included on the roster of the master drink servers is Matt Majid, a Canadian flair champion. MacDonald expects to see amazing juggling and maybe some fire-breathers.

“Unless you have been to Shadow Bar in Las Vegas or one of the flair-centric bars this is going to be beyond. If you think you have seen flair, wait until you see these guys. It is next level,” said Picton. “It is going to be non-stop action. Prepare to have your mind blown with a non-stop assault of the senses.”

Drinks made by the flair bartenders will be raffled off and Picton said all proceeds from the beach party, which is also sponsored by Parkers and Beach City Crossfit, will be donated to the Penticton Speedway Foundation. Tickets are $10 and available at or at the resort. The bartender battle on the shore of Skaha Lake takes place from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The party then moves to Barefoot Beach House Restaurant and the Mule Nightclub. Tickets include a shuttle ride from Coconut Express to the Mule. Parking is available at the resort and access to the beach party is through the tunnel under Highway 97 from the resort parking lot.

Okanagan Beach will also have a party taking place on Saturday from noon to 2 a.m. at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

Brannigan Boyd, director of regional sales and marketing, said they are kicking off the summer season with a patio party that will spill out onto the beach in front of the Barking Parrot.

“We usually have a summer kickoff but we thought we would do something a bit different this year with the Red Bull Sugga Truck. It can be driven right onto the beach and it turns into a full DJ booth,” said Boyd, adding that live music from Dustin Crammer and Annie Scott will round out the day of events.