Festivals have city rocking and rolling

Many city businesses were rockin’ and rollin’ all the way to the bank Monday morning thanks to a pair of hugely successful weekend events.

Popular Elvis tribute artist Corny Rempel of Steinbach

Popular Elvis tribute artist Corny Rempel of Steinbach

Many city businesses were rockin’ and rollin’ all the way to the bank Monday morning thanks to a pair of hugely successful weekend events.

The economic injection into the local economy from the annual Peach City Beach Cruise and Penticton Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival is once again estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

Tourism marketing manager Jessie Campbell of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce feels the cash infusion comes at a critical time for city businesses.

“These two events, which are incredibly well organized and have a loyal fan following which just keeps growing, are really the kick off to our summer tourism season,” she said. “They also come prior to our peak time when everything is full anyway — during the shoulder season.

“The benefit is not only to hotel bookings, which are always strong over this weekend, but the restaurants, other retail and the attractions that really see an influx of business during this time.”

According to the manager, what makes the festivals of added value — especially in the case of the Beach Cruise — is the draw from outside the region.

“Inbound visitation is certainly a focus of these events and these two festivals have proven themselves to drive visitation from outside of Penticton,” said Campbell. “Therefore those are incredibly valuable dollars coming to the city, it’s new dollars for Penticton.

“And what’s cool is that on Friday there was already a long lineup downstairs at the visitor centre to purchase 2012 Elvis Festival tickets.”

She added they also go a long way to building an identity and brand awareness for the city, not only in terms of bringing people back for those events, but returning for holidays or other activities.

“That includes shows which might be playing at the South Okanagan Events Centre or some other great outdoor adventure which will encourage people to put Penticton on their must-visit list,” said the manager.

Chairman Terry Michels of the Elvis board of directors noted this year’s, albeit unexpected, move to the SOEC for the weekend showcase event was terrific.

“Our Saturday night attendance at the events centre was up about 40 per cent over the best year we ever had at the trade and convention centre,” he said. “I think the venue was part of it, so was the calibre of the talent we had and the fact it was the 10th anniversary.”

Nearly 1,800 fans attended the show to see Shawn Klush, winner of the Ultimate Elvis tribute artist contest and named The World’s Greatest Elvis tribute artist by the BBC.

The sanctioned Penticton event is one of less than 30 in the world.

“What brings people here now is they realize we put on a really good show,” said the chairman. “We don’t even have to announce who the entertainment is, people just know they are going to get a full-value production.”

He added while having the two events on the same weekend has put a strain on some local resources over the years, the pair has become a “natural match.”

Both he and Ron Muzzillo of Historic Automobile Society which puts on the Beach Cruise credit all their respective sponsors and the hundreds of volunteers.

From the glitz and glamour of the stage to the shiny metal on the street, thousands of people viewed the nearly 800 vehicles during the Cruise days.

“Apparently cars are still popular with people because time and again we had people coming up to us and saying this is their favourite show,” said Muzzillo. “Every year the people just keep coming and coming and we get more and more cars.


“It is a big draw whether they’re a car fan like many of us are or they just love to look at cars. For some it’s nostalgia, ‘I used to have one of those and I shouldn’t have sold it’ — that sort of thing and the entertainment, you just can’t get anything like that for $2.”



Just Posted

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

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

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

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

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read