Entertainment

Killer local lineup at Chilliwack Party in the Park

The John Welsh Band is one of many local acts hitting the Chilliwack Party in the Park stage this summer, which emphasizes the talent found in the Valley’s own backyard this year.  - Submitted
The John Welsh Band is one of many local acts hitting the Chilliwack Party in the Park stage this summer, which emphasizes the talent found in the Valley’s own backyard this year.
— image credit: Submitted

This year’s Party in the Park is ready and raring to go, with a killer local line-up between three stages.

(For full schedule, see below.)

Party in the Park has condensed down to four weeks from eight, taking over the downtown core on July 11, July 18, Aug. 15 and Aug. 22.

And this year, according to entertainment co-ordinator Trevor McDonald, it’s all about boiling down the valley’s best local talent into one bustling area.

“We’re 95 per cent local. The theme this year—to me, anyway—has been bringing it all back home,” McDonald says. “The stage is going to shine for sure this year.”

In addition to the main stage in the heart of downtown Chilliwack, McDonald has added two smaller acoustic stages to this year’s line-up. They’ll bookend the main block of Wellington, pairing with beer gardens at the Royal Hotel and Triple Play Pub.

These stages are “strictly acoustic,” McDonald says, and will draw on some of the talent already in the downtown core as part of Chilliwack’s street performer program.

Meanwhile, a few bigger acts will take to the main stage in Central Community Park, hitting a wide range of genres. Country, indie, and rock will all make an appearance—sometimes in the same night.

“We have everything here,” McDonald says simply. “Everything from country to reggae, Celtic to rock—we have it all covered.”

And some of these acts will head over to local pubs to keep the music flowing late into the night.

It’s all about bringing the community together, and keeping the community vibe going as long as possible.

“These Fridays should be thought of as a community gathering, as a family get-together,” McDonald says. “[It’s about] a lot of local talent, a couple of headliners, and keeping the downtown core vibrant as long as humanly possible.”

And the downtown core will be nothing if not vibrant for the four Party in the Park Fridays this summer; as per usual, the downtown block of Wellington will be blocked off to vehicles. Foot traffic will spill along the downtown core through a corridor of food trucks and vendors, perhaps moving along a newly remodelled Mill Street to take in the market and extended shop displays along the broad new sidewalk and flowering plants. Finally, patrons will naturally trickle up towards Victoria Street to see the shows on the main stage in the park. Sheena Bull, from Chilliwack’s Downtown Business Improvement Association, describes this area as the “family fun zone”—where patrons will find community and non-profit booths: rock-climbing, face-painting, Tae Kwon Do, balloons, bouncy castles—not to mention the main stage in the middle of the action.

“This year we’ve moved all the activities over there in the hopes that teenagers in the elementary school would see all these activities and migrate over,” Bull says with a laugh.

And with only four nights reserved for Party in the Park this year—an effort to reduce the volunteer and vendor commitment—Bull says she expects to see more people coming out than ever before.

“Instead of saying, ‘Oh, I can’t make it this Friday—I’ll go next Friday,’ and that happening over and over again, I think [the reaction] will be, ‘We have to go this Friday—it’s not on next Friday!’” Bull says. “I see lots of families, lots of kids.”

• Party in the Park takes place in Central Community Park on July 11, July 18, Aug. 15 and Aug. 28. Music starts at 5 p.m.

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Party in the Park summer schedule

Music begins at 5 p.m.

Live at Five

Acts, where noted, will continue to other venues when their main stage act finishes

 

July 11

Creative Outlet dance showcase

Mattew Cheverie

Cold Chain

Paul Filek

Steve Elliot as Elvis

Big Shiny featuring Andrew Christopher

 

The Well at Chances

Paul Filek

 

Triple Play Pub

Big Shiny featuring Andrew Christopher

 

July 18

Project Dance dance showcase

No Time Flat jazz trio

The Aerophonics

The Rub

Head Over Heels

The Clarence

 

The Well at Chances

Head Over Heels

 

Triple Play Pub

The Rub

 

Aug. 15

Capella Dance Studio dance showcase

The John Welsh Band

Amanda Thate and Barefoot

The Nikki Werner Band

Rockabilly with the Lounge Hounds

 

The Well at Chances

The Nikki Werner Band

 

Triple Play Pub

The John Welsh Band

 

Wellington 64

Rockabilly with the Lounge Hounds

 

Aug. 22

Evolutionz Dance (dance showcase)

Curbside Traditional Jazz Band

Murphy’s Law featuring Damien Brennan

The Chill-Billies

Todd Buchard

Bobby Bruce as Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band

 

Triple Play Pub

The Chill-Billies

 

The Wellington 64

Murphy’s Law featuring Damien Brennan

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