If you live anywhere in Western Canada or the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, the one show you do not want to miss every year is the Peach City Beach Cruise in Penticton, British Columbia. This year marked the 19th annual event and every year, the show grows and grows; becoming even better than the previous year. The previous years have broken records for turnout year after year but this year topped them all with 850 cars registered and attending the show! We’ve been attending for the past 5 years and took our 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 to this year’s event.
In the past years, the event has been mainly pre-registration based however day of registration was available. These past few years though, the show sold-out more than a week in advance; leaving organizers to unfortunately turn around some people on the day of the show who didn’t pre-register. The show itself takes place over 3 days with multiple events taking place within the show such as a huge car cruise, wine tour and numerous live concert performances. It’s been called the Canadian version of “Hot August Nights in Reno.”
In previous years, with half the street being closed off for car show parking, the other half was set-up as a one-way cruise lane for cars new and old to cruise along the beach in-front of the hotels. People would line the streets day in and day out to watch the cars cruise by! Even if you didn’t enter a car in the show itself, it was still a great experience to come for the weekend and cruise the show in your car. Unfortunately this year, the one-way cruise lane was shut-down last minute by the City of Penticton; leaving organizers to break the news to show-goers. While the show organizers were still allowed to allow cars registered in the show to cruise down the lane, it was closed off to everyone else.
We were quite disappointed to see the city make this change as the one-way cruising lane was truly the “Beach Cruise” part of the show title. While we understand the safety concerns, we don’t fully understand the reasoning as there have been no incidents or injuries any of the years we’ve attended. We really wish the City of Penticton would look into changing this for next year’s event as it upset a lot of people. Quite a few people didn’t come to the event because they just came to cruise in previous years. At the very least, we think even a $10 fee for people to cruise their car thru the show would be an idea that could involve non-show entrants while keeping the extra normal traffic down.
On Thursday night, everybody starts to cruise into town. Friday morning the car show starts with parking being set-up on Lakeshore Drive along the entire mile of beachfront and parks in-front of beautiful Okanagan Lake. You truly couldn’t ask for a more stunning backdrop to a car show. Friday evening, those who want can take place in a cruise along Main Street at 5:30pm. There was also entertainment, a beverage garden and more. Saturday morning, the car show swings into full action with over 25,000 people walking the street looking at all of the killer cars on display.
If you love car shows, we strongly recommend you attend next year’s event which has already been scheduled for June 26th-28th, 2020, you won’t regret it!