Throwdown for youth

The PenTown Throwdown aimed at attracting youth for skate board and BMX event

Attracting youth is what the second annual PenTown Throwdown is all about.

“We wanted to hold an event targeted at our youth,” said Peach Festival director Scott Mayhew on the Peachfest website. “And we are really excited about how the PenTown Throwdown has come together.”

The event is part of Penticton Peach Festival, which kicks off Wednesday, and has $3,300 up for grabs in the amateur, pro and BMX categories. The action gets rolling at West Riverside Drive in Okanagan Lake Park Aug. 8-10. Mayhew said they have commitments from pros, including some from Vancouver, and they look to max out each category with 25 competitors. The three events are named after the main sponsors, Burger 55 (amateur and pro skate), Burnco and Boonstock (BMX).

“It has already grown from last year,” said Mayhew, adding that they had a great turnout last year with lots of positive feedback. “For anyone who hasn’t seen what these kids can do on skateboards and BMX, it’s definitely entertainment.”

Mayhew added that one of the better events, a highlight at the end of the competition, was the Burnco Bowl, in which competitors who didn’t finish in the top three of their divisions have a chance to win $300 for the best trick and best ride.

On Aug. 9, there will be an amateur skateboard competition from 1 to 3 p.m; amateur BMX from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; and a pro skateboard meet from 6 to 8 p.m. The champions in all categories will be honoured on the Peach Festival main stage at 9 p.m. in Okanagan Lake Park. On the third day, about 75 of the top BMX riders in western Canada will compete in a pro event from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We just want to open up the eyes of the youth,” said Mayhew, adding that they are looking to add a three-on-three basketball tournament in the future.

Registration is Aug. 8 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Burger 55. Mayhew said that everyone who registers gets a $5 burger. Owner Chris Boehm will also be making a Throwdown burger.

“I encourage people to bring their friends and family when they come to register,” he said. “Have dinner and enjoy Chris’ new location.”

There will also be music entertainment by DJ Global. Limited pre-registrations for both skateboarders and BMX riders will be available at Helmets are mandatory for all participants.