ITU Multisport Festival filled with special events

ITU Multisport Festival has events for more than just the athletes

There is something for everyone in the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Multisport World Championship Festival in Penticton, Aug. 18 to 27.

The party kicks off with the first Parade of Nations on Aug. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at Rotary Park. From 5 to 6 p.m. the Parade of Nations cross triathlon and duathlon events go from Lakeshore Drive and Power Street to the opening ceremonies. Susan Robinson, special events manager, said each athlete comes as a group for their country representing their federation.

“It’s almost like the Olympics. We want to welcome each country as their own entity to Penticton,” said Robinson. “We’re hoping that people will come out either as spectators to watch and we’re also looking for volunteers. We’ve got a great opportunity as a family event for kids to become sort of a mascot for each country.”

Kids interested in volunteering are asked to visit, penticton2017.com and click on the volunteer tab at the top. They can scroll to the special events part and click sign up. Festival organizers are also seeking volunteers for other areas.

The kids they are seeking are between the ages of seven and 12 and will wear costumes to lead the parade. Robinson has a local artist that has designed a lightweight costume and a hat that honours Canada and the event. The second parade will take place on Aug. 23, the midway mark of the ITU.

“It’s a lovely chance for people to cheer their countries on,” she said.

That parade starts at the Shatford Centre and heads down Main Street. This second parade leads into the Red and White party to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, which Robinson said is a big, family event.

The Red and White party is from 8 to 11 p.m. and puts the spotlight on local dancers and musicians, which include an aboriginal hip hop artist, powwow dancers and more. It will also be a licensed event with cold beverage served.

On Aug. 24 there will be a Family Fun Run starting at 4 p.m. at Lakeshore Dr. and Martin St.

On Aug. 25 there will be a street/beach party. Robinson said they hope 1,500 athletes will come out of the pasta party to the beach party in front of the SS Sicamous and down Lakeshore. They will have bands performing on a stage, dancers as well as vendors from 8 to 11 p.m. It is free to attend.

The kids triathlon will take place on Aug. 26 from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

The community is also encouraged to watch each of the six world championship races, especially the Long Course distance on the final day. The multisport festival will conclude with bands performing from 8 to 11 p.m.

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