The Penticton Peach Festival float won an award at the Marysville Strawberry Festival in Washington State this year. (Submitted)

The Penticton Peach Festival float won an award at the Marysville Strawberry Festival in Washington State this year. (Submitted)

Penticton Peach Festival electric float suffers ‘failure,’ $60k needed for replacement

Peach Fest president Don Kendall says the float has reached the end of its life after 25 years

The Penticton Peach Festival’s electric float needs to be replaced after suffering a “catastrophic motherboard failure” at this year’s Calgary Stampede Parade.

Featured at annual events in Alberta, Washington State, Oregon and across B.C., city staff are asking council to fund $20,000 of the estimated $60,000 replacement cost for the float.

The motherboard, which controls the battery-powered engine, died at the iconic Calgary festival in July, according to Peach Festival’s president Don Kendall.

“After 25 years, hundreds of parades and thousands of kilometres, our float reached the end of its life cycle,” he wrote in a letter to council.

Kendall says builders and electricians who work on Penticton’s float believe that even thousands of dollars worth of repairs wouldn’t fix the existing device.

While council is asked to provide one-third of the total replacement cost, Travel Penticton and Penticton Peach Festival Society are expected to fund the remaining $40,000.

Historically, the city has provided a grant every three years to assist in retrofitting the float. Staff says the float’s design must be updated every few years to be eligible to participate in festivals across B.C., Alberta and the aforementioned northwest States.

This time around, though, a more significant investment from council and Travel Penticton for the float to be ready for the 2023 parade season.

The float in need of replacing was indeed featured at this year’s Grand Parade but it was towed around on a Penticton Fire Department ATV, Kendall added.

“The float will make its final appearance, being towed, in the Leavenworth Autumn Leaves Festival Parade in September,” he said.

Penticton’s float has won awards in four major parades this year.

Council will be asked on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to approve the $20,000 in funding.

“We are planning to begin construction in October so the float is ready for the beginning of the 2023 parade season in the spring,” Kendall said.

READ MORE: Penticton Peach Festival float wins award in Washington State


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