Sunday, July 20, 2014
Facing the Music
provide big entertainment at Party in the Park
Clarence lead singer Chad Blackey tore it up with his powerful vocals at
Central Community park last Friday.
year, Party in the Park (PITP) can be described in simple terms as a
small town friendly outdoor music event. Local bands entertaining
It was the second of four events hosted by the Chilliwack Business
Improvement Association (BIA) on Fridays throughout the summer. This
week, a slightly smaller but enthusiastic crowd came out to support
the city's musicians and downtown businesses.
Executive Director Kyle Williams told the Voice he wasn't
sure if it was the cloudy weather that kept crowds away from the
park in the first hour, but that soon changed.
"People started coming later and we've got lots now," said Williams.
"We put this on, inviting the whole community, so the more people,
We see a lot of different demographic. We see people of all ages
here. These are people coming downtown and we want to give them an
This year, Williams took over from different organizers and says
they have most of the kinks worked out — except when it comes to
According to Williams, a person came into the park with a hefty
reptile draped around their neck. That's where the BIA boss had to
draw the line, and unfortunately, the snake couldn't stay for the
Another issue organizers had to iron out was parking within the
party zone. Williams has to ensure that all event-goers are safe so
he has prohibited car movement behind the barricades.
But all in all, Williams says his first PITP events have been a
well-oiled machine without any major obstacles.
"This week, we corrected some stuff from last week and now we've got
three weeks to breathe before we go again with another great
event," he said.
These women were having a blast dancing
to Head Over Heels on Friday.
Williams says emcee Trevor Macdonald has worked wonders putting
the shows together.
"He's worked really hard bringing in the bands and coordinating all
of that. He's just been awesome," said Williams, adding that Chances
Casino is the event's entertainment sponsor with the "Community
The headline act Friday was a local Chilliwack band called Clarence
with singer/guitarist Cary "Cozy Pines" Britton, bass guitarist
Brock Riley, singer/guitarist Chad Blackey and drummer Dean Young.
Britton told the Voice that for the most part, the band plays
original songs, but they'd be playing covers for a "couple of
people" for the PITP audience. He didn't indicate if that was for
"We'll be playing a cover by Lindsey Buckingham tonight called
Holiday Road and a Vaseline's cover," he said.
The band doesn't have a CD recorded yet, but Britton says they're
just getting started on that part.
of Clarence's signature songs he's excited about is called Can't
"It's kind of an alternative-country song about big business," he
Another feature act, Head Over Heels, got the crowd on their feet
with a repertoire of 90's cover songs.
It's a tough decision for bands to play cover tunes because they
know the audience will be more critical.
But, if you closed your eyes while Lori Paul was singing Barracuda,
you would have thought you were hearing Ann Wilson.
Paul, who sings with another local band called "Spiderlodge", was
standing-in for Head Over Heels regular lead singer, put on a
memorable vocal performance, despite having had just two practice
Bass player Marcel Kettingoliver, who was substituting for the
regular bass player, told the Voice after their set that Paul
was a Godsend to them.
"Another singer was going to help us out and then she got
laryngitis," explained Kettingoliver. "Then, out of the blue, Jeff
Bonner from Tractorgrease called Lori up."
Kettingoliver said that the Heart cover song was the best he's ever
heard anyone sing it.
"She killed it. Lori really surprised me the way she entertains. The
energy. I've never seen that from her. We don't practice that way,"
Dean Young from Clarence put on a
drumming clinic at Party in the Park.
Some people in the audience were musicians who played at PITP in
previous years, but because there are only four event nights this
year, they didn't get the call.
"I hope we can next year," said one musician. "Our fingers are
Other acts on the bill at PITP Tropical Night on Friday included
Project Dance, No Time Flat, Aerophonics and The Rub.
Get ready for a PITP hoe-down with "Farmer Night" on Friday,
August 15. Look for more vendors in the Winmar Marketplace and the
Murray Honday Food Fair, as well as an expanded O'Connor Dodge
Chrysler Jeep Family Fun Zone. Parents will also find an "Activity
Zone for kids that is sponsored by the University of the Fraser
Acts to watch for; the Capella Dance troupe, John Welsh Band, Amanda
Thate, Barefoot feat Jeff Scott and Geoff Eyre, the Nikki Werner
Band and local rockabilly band The Lounge Hounds feat Keith Marr,
Evan Peter Duncan and Tyson Joel Finley.
Amps and various stage gear was supplied by Long and McQuade. Sound
mixing was courtesy of
Go Audio and the
stage/lights came from
For more information about the Chilliwack Business Improvement
See more photos below.
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