The 76th Penticton Peach Festival will be remembered as one of the best on record with perfect weather and amazing entertainment that more than 40,000 people got to enjoy over the five days.
For Peach Fest president Shawna Guitard, the smiles on people’s faces and the memories made all the hard work worth it.
“I’m just full of joy. It was such an amazing five days with so many positive comments from people who came from as far as Nova Scotia to Nevada to so many locals taking in the free festival.”
It’s estimated that at least 8,000 people took in Peach Fest each day, said Guitard.
The 20-person volunteer board of directors who work tirelessly throughout the year to make Peach Fest the success it is are the ones that need all the thanks, she said.
“Our volunteers are amazing, and along with the support from local businesses, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” said Guitard.
“Please thank a volunteer if you see them today and if you are in one of our sponsor’s place of business thank them for helping us put on this free festival.”
Praise for this year’s Peach Fest has been flying in.
“We are so lucky to have this free festival in our amazing town, we loved attending with our kids,” said one local.
The Flying Fools High Dive show was a definite crowd favourite. Thousands packed the park each night of free concerts, with 54-40 drawing record numbers of people.
“Thank you for all the work you did and for making this the best Peach Fest ever. The entertainment was incredible and the selfless energy that you all expend for our city and for our visitors deserves more than any words that I can speak,” said Penticton resident Butch Burns on social media.
For Guitard, the highlight was the Grand Parade with 80 floats that came through downtown Penticton last Saturday.
“From the colourful floats and marching bands to the community spirit, it was just magical,” she said.
The sandcastle competition is also a favourite because of the family bonding that goes on, she said.
“We often get families from out of town that register and they end up creating great memories.”
The headliners were “unforgettable,” with Kim Mitchell doing an extended set and the park and its outer edges full to the brim for the 54-40 concert. This was Matt Lang’s first performance in Canada and he said after playing Peach Fest, he’ll be back, said Guitard.
“It was so magical to watch the musicians and crowd enjoying the atmosphere.”
Planning is already underway for next year, Guitard added.
“We are now reaching out to our sponsors and just letting them know how appreciative we are of them. Without them, we couldn’t offer a free event.”
Peach Fest is the largest free festival in Canada.
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