Another busy weekend

It was great to see the city busy this past weekend. We had several high-profile events.

On Thursday we kicked off the Boys and Girls U16-U18 Provincial Soccer Championships. The 16 teams were from all over British Columbia along with their families. I noticed several of the teams cooling off by the beach and having fun being kids enjoying the water.

Friday night was the Journey concert at the SOEC. I think their new lead singer was a spot on comparison to the original singer Steve Perry, so the show was awesome. I couldn't help but look at the 5,000 fans enjoying the show and get overwhelmed with a sense of pride that we have such a great facility and attracting such great events. Journey has been around for a long time, so many would recognize their hits. It seems classic rock and country is our market. I met people from the US and all around the Okanagan who travelled to the show.

It was also the 5th annual Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan over the weekend, and we welcomed 2,600 cyclists and their families. Saturday was the Piccolofondo which had little kids racing around City Hall in their cute mini-pro uniforms and bicycles.  Sunday was the “big ride” and except for 200 hard core keeners, the Granfondo was one big fun ride. The weather was nice and cool. We have such a beautiful area for cycling and people from other areas are envious of what we have as everyday norm.

Traffic can be a challenge when we close down part of the downtown or have restricted access and crossings, but bear in mind 2,600 cyclists and their families visited Penticton this weekend. There was a significant injection of economic activity into our community.  We push sport tourism as it has a tremendous draw and becomes a reason for people to visit Penticton; however, we also have the opportunity to showcase our city or region as a place to live and invest. There are a few days a year where our daily routines might be disrupted, but the City is still accessible and there is a greater benefit to the entire community.

I look at the fact that BC Soccer is coming back again next summer for their Championships because they love our immaculate fields, location and community. The SOEC will host Brit Floyld in August, Young Stars and Weird Al in September, Ringo Starr and the Tenors in October all catering to different demographics and genres. Granfondo and Challenge bring significant amounts of athletes, not only for their one day signature experiences (races), but usually many visits for training and relaxation. The fact that we have so many events, festival and championships is a testament to our community for our beauty, amenities, volunteers, and friendly supportive residents. It made me proud.

There still are many more events happening this summer, so I challenge you to spend some time participating, volunteering or witnessing why Penticton does festival and events so well.