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Summerland organizers plan action-packed festival

Changes planned for Summerland Action Festival, set for June 2 to 4
A variety of live music will be scheduled for this year’s Summerland Action Festival. (Summerland Review file photo)

It will be a time for action and entertainment at the Summerland Action Festival this June.

The annual festival will be held June 2 to 4 and is expected to bring in more than 10,000 people, said Pat Bell, chair of the Summerland Action Fest.

The three-day festival will feature a slo-pitch tournament, the Giant’s Head Run, musical entertainment and more. It has been held since 1982, although it was not held in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

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In 2022, the festival was back, but the parade, a mainstay of the festival in previous years, was not included.

Bell said the parade will not go ahead this year, either.

“We’re working on it, but this year it’s not going to happen,” he said. “I’d love to have the parade back, but right now logistically it’s just too difficult for us.”

He said the parade is a labour-intensive component of the festival and requires a lot of volunteer help.

Another change this year will be the Action Festival Dance. For many years, the dance had been held at the Summerland Arena on Saturday evening, extending until 1:30 to 2 a.m. Last year, the dance was not held.

This year, the dance will be held at the beverage gardens in Memorial Park on the evening of Saturday, June 3.

The dance is sponsored by the Summerland Kinsmen Club and this year the Jon Bos Band will perform. While the dance will be in the beverage gardens, families outside the gardens will be able to see the band and hear the music.

Because of the outdoor location, the dance will not extend as late as it has in previous years.

A fireworks display, normally held on the Friday of the festival, will be held on Saturday evening instead, coinciding with the dance.

Throughout the weekend, bands and performers will provide musical entertainment from the bandshell in Memorial Park. The complete list of bands and performers has not yet been finalized.

In addition, organizers are hosting Summerland’s Got Talent, for performers of all ages. There are categories for those between five and 11 years of age, those from 12 to 18 and those 19 and older. All acts must be family-friendly and two to five minutes long.

Acts will be judged on Saturday and finalists will be selected on Sunday.

Other events during the weekend will include wrist wrestling and a fishing derby for children.

Bell said the Action Festival committee is working to bring the event back to the level it was at prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want Action Fest to come back and be successful, and then slowly get it back to what it was before,” he said.

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Dressed as a banana, Ingrid Wuensche of the Bomb Squad slo-pitch team prepares to bat during a game at the 2022 Summerland Action Festival. The slo-pitch tournament will be part of the festival for this year (Summerland Review file photo)

John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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