Feature Story                                                                                                     Friday August 24, 2012


Power To The Park People

Party in the Park a throwback to the 60s with Flower Power Night theme

Staff/Voice file photos


The view from inside Steve "Elvis" Elliot's pink Caddillac looking out at Party in the Park fans last Friday.

into, groovy, daddio. Remember tie-dye tees, bell bottoms and afros in the 1960s? The Coast Capital Party in the Park Friday was a throwback to that colourful era with the theme of Flower Power.

The entertainment featured awesome performances from Steve 'Elvis' Elliott, and ZZ Top tribute band Rio Grande Mud as well as Blue Jay and more.

The Voice had a chance to speak with Darcy D, Party in the Park promoter and emcee, backstage last Friday about the final event next week, and also to get a general overview of how things have gone for him over the summer.


"This is my first time here, so I don't know what to compare it to. I only know that the mandate changed a little bit and the format in which we did this," Darcy D said. "As far as I've been told, everyone's happy, like the board is happy, the people seem to be happy and the crowd is very good."

When asked if he'd do the Party in the Park again, he paused for a moment. "I would look at it," he said with a wry smile. It's so much fun, who could say no?

The type of music and bands who've played on the Star 98.3/SONiC 107.5 Entertainment Stage has been no accident. They have all been hand picked.

"What happened is that people submitted to perform and because I hadn't seen a lot of these acts before I got them to submit an EPK (sp) or a website link, or something so I could see, and we're trying to book the acts according to the themes that are going on every Friday night and just get a nice flow, you know."

Central Community park is a great venue for new and emerging artists and Darcy D had to really work hard to get the best bang for their buck.

"We're giving young artists a chance to showcase and trying to get the best headliner we can get for the budget we have."

Next week is the final Party in the Park with the theme of Fairy Tale Night and even Darcy D is going to perform.

"We're going to have some showcase artists, winners from the Valley Voices vocal competition. We're going to have myself actually. I'm going to sing. Someone twisted my arm. I'm going to accompany some of the girls and then sing a few songs."

"We got a kid named Cole Armour who was on the "Ellen" show. He's 13-years-old. He's a YouTube sensation," he said."I just finished producing a single for him and the kid's a monster."

"Right now it's like pop," said Darcy D when asked what style of music Armour plays. "He's got several different genres that his management's looking at before they actually launch him, but the kid's got something going on."

Darcy D says that Laurel (Baker), also on stage, will be doing a couple of her current hits that have been getting air time locally...

"And then we've got a band called Stonebolt," he said.

Stonebolt played the A-circuit in the 1970's around the Lower Mainland.

"They're better than ever," said D. "All these guys are producers and music managers now and they know what to do."

When asked how he managed to get them to Party in the Park, Darcy D said that a couple of the guys are friends of his.

"David Wills is a friend of mine and Ray Roper, the guitar player, but David and I are on the board of the Country Music Association, " explained Darcy D. "So I saw them perform at the Agrifair and that was was a lot of fun. They did "New Set of Changes" and they've got a few hits that you listen to and you go 'I know this one.'"

Kathy Funk, Downtown Business Improvement Association Executive Director and Donna Dixon, Director of Community Relations for the Chilliwack Hospital and Health Care Foundation (CHHCF) were at the 98.3 Star FM studios last Friday to talk with morning show hosts Scott and Lisa about their involvement at the weekly family event held at Chilliwack Central Community Park.

"I don't know if you know it, but Chilliwack is currently the unhealthiest community in British Columbia," said Dixon. "We have the highest rate of stroke, the highest rate of Asperser's disease, preventable mortality before the age of 75, but the exciting thing about that is that those are all affected by lifestyle, that's why we are working to make people aware of what they can do to be healthy."

Dixon who jogs regularly, recently joined the Sudden Impact Dragon Boat Club at Cultus lake and is looking forward to about five races a year.

The CHHCF is one of the sponsors of Party in the Park and have a canopy set up in the park where they'll be talking with folks about healthy lifestyles.

"When Kathy and I first talked about this, we wanted it to be sort of like an umbrella where we could invite partners and one of the things I'm happiest about is I've had about 200 meetings since I started this job with various stakeholders, and so we bring people, anybody, because we're approaching the whole spectrum of health from baby to the end of life and so tonight we've got some partners in. We've got Silver Strands who is a company that assists in navigating the healthcare system."

"If you've got an older parent and you don't know what to do and the system can be very challenging and she helps you through that, and we have Chilliwack Community Services and they're going to be talking about some of their programs. We have the YMCA and so we've got a lot of things that so people can find out about their health and I hope to be back next year, there will be even more, because as we gain exposure in the community, we will see more people that want to be a part of what we're doing.

"The other special things that fit in with our Flower Power is the open car show and Shane and the O'Connor group do our Sunset Cruising tonight, so we've got guys already talking about cruising in," Funk said.

"It's an open show, there will be People's Choice so it'll be a lot of fun and of course the Royal LePage Night Market and Sears Food Court are always popular."

Paxton Bachman, Randy Bachman's nephew, and Blue Jay hit the stage. Back by popular demand was the acrobatic Steve "Elvis" Elliot who was being sponsored by the Great Canadian Oil Change.

"We're looking forward to the goodies he's got to share with us," Funk said. "He's always got fun stuff to throw off the stage."

As usual, the Voice has got a whole raft of photos for you, so if you missed Party in the Park last week, then dive in.

"Darcy D promises many other surprise appearances from some of Chilliwack's best talent," wrote Desmond Devnich, DBIA events organizer, in an e-mail to the Voice last week.

New this year is live streaming for those who can't make it to the park on Friday, they can watch all the entertainment on stage via UStream courtesy of Wayne Price and Virtual Broadcast Network at www.downtownchilliwack.com

See more photos below.


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