City marks Ken Paton Day

The City of Penticton is proud to proclaim Friday, June 22 as Ken Paton Day for the official kickoff to the Peach City Beach Cruise.

"This is the first year Peach City Beach Cruise will roll into town without Ken Paton behind the wheel. He was an outstanding example of how one man's commitment, dedication and hard work can make a difference," said Mayor Dan Ashton. "We hope everyone will come out for the opening ceremonies to honour Ken's contributions to Penticton and the incredible legacy he left us."

The son of an auto mechanic, Ken Paton and his family moved to Penticton in 1990, continuing his work of selling vehicles. He dreamed of hosting a world-class family event featuring antique cards, vintage hot rods, trucks and motorcycles. In 2001, he and a board of directors launched the inaugural Peach City Beach Cruise to wide acclaim. For 12 years until his passing last year, Ken continued on as the president of the Penticton Historic Automobile Society, which organizes the annual event.

Under Ken's guidance, the Peach City Beach Cruise evolved to become one of Canada's premier antique car shows, with more than 800 vehicles taking part in the three-day event that is believed to have drawn 25,000 spectators in 2011. The weekend contributes more than $2 million to the local economy each year, and many believe it serves as the kickoff to summer

Ken Paton Day will be recognized during this year's Peach City Beach Cruise opening ceremonies at 8 p.m. at the Gyro Park bandshell, and the event's founder will also be honoured during the awards presentation Sunday morning.