August 8, 2018 9:10 pm

Heat can’t scorch enthusiasm of crowds on opening day of Penticton Peachfest

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It’s smoky and hot in the Okanagan, but an air quality advisory and a heat warning with highs approaching 40 degrees can’t scorch the enthusiasm of crowds at the 71st annual Penticton Peachfest.

“It’s worth it staying out in the heat to see this!” said one spectator.

Revelers are armed with water bottles, shades and anything that resembles a fan.

Organizers said 80,000 people are expected to attend the five-day family festival and it is free.

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“We’ve got seniors day on Wednesday in the park, we have the kid zone here for kids, we got a BMX and skateboard event, we got the mega motocross, so we really are trying to have something for the whole family,” said Peachfest president Don Kendall.

He said festivalgoers are from across the west coast.

“It spreads the word about Penticton. Just in our parade alone, we’ve got entries from Alberta, B.C., Idaho, Washington and Oregon,” Kendall said.

The Skyhawks military parachute team wowed the crowds on opening day.

“We build formations and performs acrobatic stunts with pyrotechnics,” said corporal Jason Bent.

They appeared from smoky skies to the amazement of spectators.

“It was so cool to see them do all of the formations!” said an attendee.

The Gyro Park kid zone has the young ones spinning with excitement.

Pony rides are a popular attraction, along with family-friendly entertainment and even a reptile petting zoo.

You can catch all of the lakeside action over the next five days.

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