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Weekend weather made to order for classic cars and the King of Rock and Roll

Jeff Bodner of Chilliwack, winner of the 2007 Northwest Penticton Elvis Festival entertains the crowd at Gyro Park Saturday afternoon as part of the Peach City Beach Cruise entertainment lineup.
June 28, 2015 - 12:27 PM

PENTICTON - Visitors to Penticton might have found themselves thinking about "the good old days" this weekend.

Between the Penticton Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival and the Peach City Beach Cruise with it’s classic cars, the 1950s, 60s, or 70s didn’t seem far in the past.

Hundreds of antique, classic and specialty cars and trucks graced the lawns of Rotary Park and the parking areas of  Lakeshore Drive throughout the weekend, while the strains of classic songs of the King of Rock and Roll could be heard from two venues on the Okanagan Lake waterfront Saturday afternoon, June 28.

The 1970s were close at hand at the Peach City Beach Cruise with such entries as this Dodge Swinger.
The 1970s were close at hand at the Peach City Beach Cruise with such entries as this Dodge Swinger.

For a change, Mother Nature cooperated to the fullest degree for the June festival, which in the past has had to deal with unpredictable June weather. That hasn’t been the case this weekend, as hot temperatures, calm winds and sunny skies have been the order of the day.

Peach City Beach Cruise Director Brian Wyatt was busy selling souvenirs from a kiosk in Gyro Park Saturday afternoon, where business looked brisk.

“It’s probably a 10 per cent increase in visitors over last year, and last year was a record year. Last night, Gyro Park was still jam packed at 11 p.m., and with the Elvis Festival going on this weekend, Penticton is rocking,” Wyatt says.

Mustang Alley at the Penticton Peach City Beach Cruise, Saturday, June 27, 2015.
Mustang Alley at the Penticton Peach City Beach Cruise, Saturday, June 27, 2015.

Visitors were spending the day wandering Lakeshore Drive and Rotary Park, checking out the vehicles, then drifting into Gyro Park to relax and listen to the live entertainment, Wyatt says, noting the top notch entertainment, which included Elvis tribute artist Jeff Bodner, Avalanche, Kinda Kenny, Roland Allen and the Groove-A- Matics, all performing out of the Gyro Bandshell through the weekend.

“The Board of Directors are all really pleased with the show so far this year. I couldn’t begin to estimate the millions of dollars represented in vehicles on display this year,” Wyatt says. "Everyone is enjoying this year’s weather, compared to previous years. I remember one year when an evening thunderstorm emptied Gyro Park in seconds.”

Creative minds were also at work, with specialty entries like this innovative entry at the 2015 Peach CIty Beach Cruise.
Creative minds were also at work, with specialty entries like this innovative entry at the 2015 Peach CIty Beach Cruise.

Beach Cruise Director in Charge of Entertainment, Donna Dulewich says Cassandra Friske’s performance is a big hit with Beach Cruise attendees.

“She’s been out on Lakeshore Drive doing a great Marilyn Monroe tribute. She’s absolutely amazing, everyone has been getting their photo taken with her,” Dulewich says.

Rare classics like this 1970 Ford Cougar Eliminator were on display at the 2015 Peach City Beach Cruise.
Rare classics like this 1970 Ford Cougar Eliminator were on display at the 2015 Peach City Beach Cruise.

The car show wraps up tomorrow.

A little further east on Lakeshore Drive, competitors in the Penticton Elvis Festival entertained in Okanagan Lake Park from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Headliner Act took place Saturday night at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, wrapping up Sunday with a Gospel Music Showcase in Okanagan Lake Park and the Tribute Artist Finals at the convention centre beginning at 2 p.m.

Elvis sighting in Penticton

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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