Saturday July 17, 2010

Local Event


Chilliwack's Got Talent

Party in the Park another resounding success with Hawaiian theme night

Craig Hill/Voice


Ranj & the Discriminators rocked it on stage Friday at the second Party in the Park. Voice photo.


he joint was jumpin' once again for Party in the Park #2 on Friday. This week a whole new set of original acts sizzled on the Central Community Park stage at the corner of Young and Victoria. Some reports had last week's crowd set at about 4000 and this week it looked like that number was exceeded.


Who needs America's Got Talent? The young Olivia Simpson from the Chilliwack School of Performing Arts was better than anything on that show and warmed up the crowd with songs from artists like Feist's and the 1-2-3-4 song.


Images Dance Studio and Sun Hang Do Karate Club, delighted the audience with their high-energy shows. Mr. Lube had wheel of fortune hopefuls spinning for cash and their blue and yellow balloons dotted the audience, occasionally floating up and out of sight. Kids hammed it up with the Chilliwack Bruins Cruiser mascot and they also chatted with the parakeets at the BC Exotic Bird Society kiosk.


Waiting for Hank, a Hank Williams tribute band, followed Simpson and did not fail to entertain with some well-played golden oldies. To find more out about this band go here.


Later, Ranj Singh and the Discriminators introduced the audience to their unique Indo-folk-rock fusion style. You can check their website and download samples at:


Chilliwack's ever-popular, Todd Richard played his style of C&W and finally, wrapping things up just after 9pm was Blonde Sonia who entertained with a set of original tunes interspersed with some good old fashioned rock and roll standards. You can visit their Facebook page here.


The BIA responded to last year's issues with the Safeway Kid's Zone and even added a safety fence along the Young Rd. side of the park. Great idea. Last year, the only problem with the Kid's Zone, was that kids weren't getting 'in the zone.' Most stood in line for the better part of an hour for a face painting, a whack at a golf ball or a bounce in a air castle.


This year, the throngs of kids were engaged with all kinds of activities at several kiosks and lineups for a face paint were a bearable 15-minutes thanks to a volunteer group of art students from local high schools.


Kudos to organizers who brought together some of the best performers yet Friday night. It was only a couple of years ago when musicians looked bored and so did people at the park. Some guys even showed up late to their stage gigs.


Each year the community mini-fest is in existence, it evolves into something better. People are missing out on a very cool evening of entertainment if they don't go. It's a free event and there are over 60 unique kiosks selling food, crafts and services.


If organizers could look at improving anything, then it would be the half-block lineup to get into the single bounce castle. If it's that popular, then get more of them and perhaps expand onto the school property at the back of the park. This would open up more corner of the park to people and other things. Right now, the park couldn't handle 6,000 or 7,000 people at an event like this but inevitably, there will be that many as word spreads that the Party in the Park is a real live event now and not just a wannabe show.


Gringos Mexican Restaurant, at the corner of Mill St. and Victoria Ave., is Chilliwack's newest, hottest and coolest eatery. They've added an outdoor street patio during the park parties on Fridays with tables where people can relax and take in the festivities until they wrap up at 9:30pm, then Gringos' DJ takes over the tunes until midnight.



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Michael Clarke (L), Jamie Hoskins (C) and Federal Green Party Candidate Ed Baye in the photo



































The end of the gallery. Thanks for looking.