In memory of Ken Paton
On behalf of the many thousands who will enjoy this year’s show, we thank you Ken.
Ken was involved with cars his whole life. His greatest passion was for the classic and antique automobiles!
Ken dreamed of hosting a high-calibre car show featuring classics, antiques, hot rods, trucks and motorcycles. In 1999 he, along with several other local car enthusiasts, formed the Penticton Historic Automobile Society with a goal of establishing a quality, 3-day car show.
The first Peach City Beach Cruise was launched in June 2001. It was a modest show of 250 classic and antique vehicles.
Today the annual 3-day Peach City Beach Cruise attracts nearly 800 vehicles, with some coming from as far away as Saskatchewan, Texas and southern California. In recent years a Friday night parade from Skaha Lake to Okanagan Lake as well as a Collector Car Auction and a motorcycle class have been added to the festivities.
Rock and roll has also been a mainstay of the Beach Cruise with well known BC entertainers like Jeff Bodnar (Essence of Elvis) and Apaloosa as headliners.
It has been estimated that the event brings one and a half million dollars in tourist revenue into the city.
In 2009, Penticton and the Peach City Beach Cruise were featured on the popular Speed Channel show, “My Classic Car” hosted by Dennis Gage, which boasts 30 million viewers worldwide. Because of this TV exposure, there was a significant increase in registrants for the event the next year.
Ken Paton’s vision and dream were fulfilled, showing how one man’s commitment and dedication to his city, through passion and hard work, has made a positive and long-lasting difference to the community of Penticton.
In August 2011, the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Penticton proclaimed that the first day of every Peach City Beach Cruise will be known as “Ken Paton Day” in the city.