Chairman Fred Trainor of the Peach Festival, Snowbird organizing committee officially announced Tuesday the aerial demonstration squad will be back to kick off Peach Fest on Aug. 9. As well, this year the Canadian Forces F-18 Hornet fighter jet will also be performing. Although not confirmed, organizers are hoping the Canadian Forces Sky Hawks sky diving team will also be dropping in. Mark Brett/Western News

Snowbirds flying into Penticton for Peach Festival

The Snowbirds, along with the CF-18 Hornet Fighter Jet, will open the Penticton Peach Festival

The iconic Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be back again to kick off the 70th annual Penticton Peach Festival, and this year they will be bringing some special guests along with them.

Also confirmed for the Wednesday, Aug. 9 evening show over the waters and southern shoreline of Okanagan Lake is the Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet fighter jet which will be performing a pyrotechnic, simulated battle scene.

And while not official at this stage, the local Snowbirds organizing committee are confident the Canadian Forces Skyhawks precision parachute team will be dropping in on Okanagan Lake Park.

Chairman Fred Trainor of the local Snowbirds organizing committee made the official announcement at a press conference at the Lakeside Resort Tuesday.

“It is something we have never, ever had here before and it might be a one off for all we know. To have the Snowbirds, the CF-18 and most likely the Skyhawks — it is like a dream come true for us,” said Trainor.

Adding about the possible Skyhawks show he said: “First of all I don’t understand why 11 people would purposefully fall out of an airplane but I think that is going to be great. The Snowbirds I love, I don’t really care to fly but I always have loved them. But, to see that jet I think that is going to be something we never see again.”

This will be the eighth visit to Penticton by the Snowbirds, they were last here for the 2015 Peach Fest. It’s estimated that as many as 20,000 people crowded on the shoreline for past aerobatics by the familiar red and white Tutor jets.

The Snowbirds and the addition of the CF-18, and possibly the Skyhawks, as in the past is courtesy of Dave Kampe of Peter’s Bros. Construction.

“About 20 years ago with a handshake, Dave Kampe said to me anytime you can get the Snowbirds, as many times as you can get the Snowbirds, whatever it costs we will pay,” said Trainor, who along with most of his committee members have been together for nearly 20 years. “It’s going to cost a bit more this year than it ever has before but they’re (Peter’s Bros.) on board and it’s great. It’s great to have them as our benefactor.

“I’ve always said without them as a benefactor we wouldn’t have the Snowbirds ever in Penticton and without the guys from the (Penticton) flying club, there’s no way you could do this.”

At this stage the show is schedule for a 6 p.m. start with the Skyhawks first followed by the Snowbirds and then the CF-18.

“The tentative plan is to have the paratroopers drop right into the middle of Okanagan Lake Park and have the crowd around the perimeter of the park and right after they jump we will be clearing the park and getting ready for the night’s entertainment with Cod Gone Wild and 54:40,” said Kendall. “We expect this is going to be really something special for opening night.

“What a great way to kick off the 70th anniversary of Peach Festival. Having this type of a show on opening night is going to be incredible.”

City of Penticton Coun, Andre Martin said it is a great way to add to what most people forget is an already free event

“It’s all because of the sponsors and the work of the committees that we get to bring all these people to town and give them a show like that and it’s free and it’s the largest free festival in Canada.”

According to Trainor the Snowbirds enjoy coming to Penticton, in large part due to the fact they’re treated as royalty.

“We invite them to come here and spend their day off and we take really good care of them,” said Trainor. “We take them on a wine tour, we arrange golf, we arrange the channel and then we have a big party out at Blasted Church (winery) and guys will say to us this is probably the best place we play.”

If the Skyhawks do come, along with the technical crews there could be close to 50 people working to put together the show.

Just Posted

Kelowna community bike ride raises $120,000 for charity

Money from the Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride went to the Canadian Mental Health Association

More road closures planned due to construction in Kelowna

Hart Road and Grantham Road in Kelowna will be closed beginning Thursday

Okanagan College culinary students experience local Indigenous flavours

Traditional Okanagan-Syilx styles were taught by Westbank First Nation Elders

Multi-Generational Activity Centre is officially underway in Lake Country

Federal government provides an extra $585k to support the project

Kelowna’s homeless population doesn’t have much hope of finding a bed at a shelter

Central Okanagan Journey Home Society says 300 people waitlisted for supportive housing

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Penticton baby suffers injuries from fall

Emergency crews responded to a report of a fall at a residence at 4 p.m. on June 26

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Public tip leads to seizure of drugs and weapons in North Okanagan

Concerned citizen spots male sleeping in car in residential area

Still months of investigation left into South Okanagan murders

Penticton came to a standstill on April 15, when John Brittain allegedly shot and killed four people

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Most Read