Action Festival looks back to origins

It will be a trip back in time to the early 1980s as the Summerland Action Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary in early June.

It will be a trip back in time to the early 1980s as the Summerland Action Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary in early June.

The festival will run from June 1 to 3 and is expected to draw around 15,000 people over the weekend.

Pat Bell, president of the Action Festival committee, said this year, to mark 30 years, the festival will look back to its origins.

“It’s a return to the ’80s,” he said. “Where were you in ’82?”

While this year’s festival will include some elements from the early 1980s, Bell said it has gone through some significant changes since it started.

“It’s morphed into a lot more entertainment,” he said, “but one of its strongest points has been the physical activity.”

When the festival was started in 1982, it was primarily a celebration of fitness and sport.

Some elements of that emphasis still remain.

Throughout the weekend, Summerland will host a 72-team ball tournament, attracting teams from as far as Vancouver and Whistler.

The Man of Steel Triathlon and the Giant’s Head Run on Saturday will draw many participants as well, he said.

While sport is an important part of the festival, Bell said it is also a chance for friends to meet and reconnect.

“A lot of people use it as a reunion to kick off the summer,” he said. “They come back for Action Festival.”

For children, the inflatable amusements will be back as in past years.

The dance on Saturday evening at the Summerland Arena will be held once again this year with March Hare returning to provide the music. However, Bell said the changes to liquor regulations mean organizers cannot sell hard liquor during the dance. Beer, wine and cider will be available.

The dance draws more than 1,000 people.

Musical entertainment over the weekend will be varied.

On Friday evening, the music will feature heavy music bands for younger attendees.

On Saturday during the day, local entertainers including Tiana Ferlizza and Mariah Gauthier will sing and perform.

On Sunday afternoon, the entertainment highlight will be an Aerosmith tribute band.

 

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