Penticton prepares for Rick Hansen Relay arrival

The City of Penticton is proud to announce that local talent Nikita Afonso will headline entertainment offered after the official Rick Hansen Relay official ceremony on Thursday, May 3.

"We are so excited that Nikita, Penticton's own rising star, will perform after the Relay arrives," said Lori Mullin, Penticton Recreation Supervisor. "The Rick Hansen Relay community celebration promises to be a jam-packed event for the whole family, and we invite Penticton to be part of the fun."

The Rick Hansen Relay will travel along several Penticton streets that Thursday afternoon. Celebrations will start at 3:30 p.m. in Gyro Park with an official ceremony at 4 p.m., after community medal bearer Amanda Lewis makes the final leg of the Relay trip to the community celebration.

Local entertainment also includes performances by professional musician and instructor Will Shlackl, the musical stylings of Miss Penticton Jolene Hayter and Dr. Eclectic, aka singer-songwriter Allan Markin, offering a sneak peak of his pieces on his CD "What Golden Years?," scheduled for release this month. The Penticton Indian Band drumming group will also provide an official welcome when the Relay arrives, and Gail Riddal will perform O Canada.

The Downtown Penticton Association has arranged a host of activities for the celebration. Part-T Perfect will provide balloon twisters, life-size game boards and bouncy castle. Face painting will be available in addition to children's activities provided by many local service clubs and community organizations. Quota International will serve up burgers, hotdogs and corn. Residents looking to take part in the fun are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Beginning on Aug. 24, 2011 on the easternmost point of North America at Cape Spear, Nfld., the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay began the process of retracing the Canadian segment of the original Man in Motion Tour. This time, however, the Man in Motion would be represented and celebrated by many in motion; engaging 7,000 participants from across Canada who have made a difference in the lives of others.

These individuals were selected as community medal bearers to run, walk, wheel or bike their segments into local celebrations in their respective communities.

Leading up to the event, the City of Penticton is inviting medal bearers chosen by the Rick Hansen Foundation to share their stories with the community. More than 30 local people have been selected through the Rick Hansen Foundation to carry the medal in Penticton, and even though the City does not have a list of people, those who would like to share their stories are asked to email the information to Lori Mullin for inclusion on the website.

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will travel through more than 600 communities as it makes its nine-month, 12,000-km journey across Canada before concluding in Vancouver on May 22.

For information like route maps, a copy of the poster and details on the Penticton end of day celebrations, visit www.penticton.ca/rickhansen.

For more information about the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay, visit www.rickhansenrelay.com.