Party in the Park host

Aaron Pritchett added to downtown Chilliwack show

Country star Aaron Pritchett is added to roster of strong local talent at 2011 Party in the Park finale Aug. 26 in Central Community Park.

The word is out.

Country star Aaron Pritchett will be joining a roster of strong local talent at the 2011 Party in the Park finale in Central Community Park.

Here’s the PITP entertainment schedule for Aug. 19 and Aug. 26.

Friday Aug 19: Capella Dance Studio, Midnight Sun, Teapot Hill, Lounge Hounds, Tyson Froese, Pine Cone and Head Over Heels

Friday, Aug. 26: Capella Dance, Desmond Devnich, Steve “Elvis Elite” Elliott & Band, Pardon My Striptease with guests Rob Rowan and Savage West, and Aaron Pritchett.

Don’t miss a minute of it, say the organizers.

Party in the Park host Trevor McDonald is a man on a mission when it comes to live music on the local scene.

“It’s been an amazing summer,” he says, when The Progress catches up with him in Downtown Chilliwack.

With the exponential growth and popularity of Party in the Park over the years, thousands of people stream into the downtown to take in the uber-popular event in Central Community Park every Friday night.

The grand opening featuring Bill Henderson, founder of the band Chilliwack, in early July attracted 4,000 people.

“It’s become a real local success story,” he says.

It takes more than 50 volunteers to set things up for PITP every Friday night in July and August, as well as the diligent efforts by volunteers and staff during and after the gathering.

Jambox sets up the hugely popular entertainment stage and Go Audio does the sound.

“And if you liked the Grand Finale last year when we had about 6,000 people show up, you’ll love this year’s show.”

The title sponsor of PITP is Coast Capital, and more than 60 vendors signed up for a spot at the Night Market, and the Family Fun Zone keeps growing as well.

The Downtown Chilliwack BIA’s event won the Best in the West award last year, recognizing excellence in marketing, promotions and special events from BIAs across B.C.

Several years ago McDonald set up a pair of scholarships, handed out to two CSS students pursuing the arts from funds added to the Chilliwack Musicians’ Coop. There have been four students who earned the $1,000 prize so far, and partial proceeds come from the musicians’ honoraria.

“It’s something I’m really proud of, and next June at graduation we’ll be giving away more scholarships,” he says.

Add to that a bunch of gigs, like the Sunday jam night at Anavets 305,  solo Wednesdays at Jolly Miller, or at Preston’s in the Coast  on Thursdays in a trio with Ernie Britton and Jeff Eyre, and Trev is as busy as ever.

He’s been making music up and down the valley for the past 20 years, and has seen things ebb and flow in terms the marketplace of music.

“But being involved with community events, and playing all these years, I’m so grateful,” he says.

The Sunday jam night at Anavets 305 has moved from venue to venue over the years, but the good times follow wherever it gets established. There’s a nice mixed of seasoned and new players showing up.

“We are always trying to bring in some new blood for the weekly jam night,” he says. “So come on down and check it out.”

 

 

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