RVs rolling into Penticton next week

Next weekend's B.C. Interior RV Show will be the largest event hosted by the South Okanagan Events Centre

The B.C. Interior RV Show coming up next weekend promises to be the biggest event the South Okanagan Events Centre has hosted since it opened its doors in 2008.

“It not only fills up our convention centre, it fills up the Events Centre and the parking lot. That was one of the directions that we had first envisioned,” said Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton. He’s looking forward to this first-ever full-complex event, running from May 4 to 6.

“I think it is going to be phenomenal, a huge traffic generator, great for the hotels and the motels and the restaurants. But more importantly, it will be great for the customers,” said Ashton. “It will be a one-stop shop where you have literally everybody in the valley coming here, and it will be from A to Z of recreational vehicles and accessory dealers.”

The show will fill 80,000 square feet of indoor space in the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre; Memorial Arena; the community arena; and the SOEC itself, plus its parking lot with over 50 different exhibitors promoting products and services related to the RV lifestyle, including the newest RV models in the industry and lifestyle extras like satellite dishes, solar panels, outdoor activities, tourism associations, resorts and RV camping sites.

Weekend wristbands will be sold on site for $5, cash only, and visitors are requested to bring a non-perishable food item for the Salvation Army Community Food Bank. Net proceeds from the sale of the wristbands will also be donated to The Salvation Army Community Food Bank. Children under 15 are free with a paying adult.

Once the wristband has been purchased, visitors have access to the entire show as well as the free educational sessions in the convention centre. Seminars run all three days, with topics ranging from RV tips and propane safety to solar power and blogging about the RV lifestyle.

Several of the seminars will be with Okanagan College’s Al Cohoe, who has been involved in the RV industry since 1971. First, he was involved in manufacturing for 10 years, then spent another decade with a dealership before starting teaching the RV tech program in 1985 at Okanagan College where he has been ever since.

The RV show will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. A complete schedule of the educational sessions is available online at www.bcinteriorrvshow.ca.