Legacy lives on: Downtown business carries on vision of now-closed Penticton board game cafe

New life for board gaming

The spirit of board gaming lives on in Penticton, thanks to a local small business committed to carrying on the legacy of another that had to close.

Meeples and Milkshakes was a beloved board game cafe that opened in 2020. Owners Jim and Cheryl Roepcke had a vision of offering board game sales and a place to meet and play with friends in person, though that was quickly handicapped by the global pandemic.

They found themselves no longer financially viable in early 2024, and announced their closure, much to the dismay of their many fans.

That's when another downtown small business stepped in. Just4Fun owner Leigh Follestad said he had been a fan of the Roepcke's vision for Meeples and Milkshakes since the beginning, and his own daughter had worked as an employee at the cafe.

Follestad decided to buy out the Meeples stock, and bring it to his store's location in the 300 block of Main Street.

"I said, 'Hey, look, you know, I got space. Let me buy your inventory from you, what are you going to do with 500 board games? I'll buy them,'" Follestad said.

"And we'll offer the service here, as kind of a continuity for continuation of the Meeples concept."

Just4Fun will be offering tables for free for groups to come in and try out games, with the option to purchase the games afterwards as well.

Follestad said he has seven tables and is excited to see everyone from newcomers to families to dedicated gaming groups "in the seats, having fun."

He said part of the goal is encouraging support of local businesses, by providing the local touch.

"It will be the best in stock supply board games. And we'll always be the best price. If you find it online, we'll meet or beat any price, just because we want to keep people in Penticton," Follestad said.

"Small business, it takes a lot of effort. It's not easy. It's not for the faint of heart ... So for people to take that chance, like Jim and Cheryl, I mean, that's a super amazing, brave thing for someone to do."

Just4Fun is already fielding calls from people interested in utilizing their space to play board games, and the business has taken over all outstanding orders for games from Meeples and Milkshakes.

Follestad recommends phoning the store to make a reservation, to ensure a table will be open.

"I'm happy that we can continue on [the Meeples] legacy."


Penticton Peach Festival announces Honeymoon Suite, the Odds as Saturday headliners

Honeymoon Suite headlines

The 2024 Penticton Peach Festival has announced the headliners for its Saturday night this summer.

Two iconic Canadian bands, Honeymoon Suite and the Odds, will rock the stage at Okanagan Lake Park on Aug. 10.

"We are thrilled to welcome Honeymoon Suite and the Odds to the Penticton Peach Festival. These bands are not just performers; they are storytellers, it's an honour to host such legendary acts at our festival,” said Peach Festival entertainment director, Alysha Forrest.

Fans can sing along to Honeymoon Suite hits like "New Girl Now" and "Bad Attitude." Odds fans are sure to enjoy hits like "It Falls Apart" and "Someone Who's Cool."

Craig Northey, Odds singer and guitarist, is thrilled to be back at Peach Fest.

“We are always pumped to play outdoors in Penticton and see all those smiling faces. As BC boys we know it's the best place to be at the height of summer," Northey said.

The two acts are sponsored by Peters Bros. Paving and Grizzly Excavating.

The Penticton Peach Festival is free to attend, featuring five nights of family-friendly entertainment Aug. 7 to 11.

The festival is announcing its headlining acts one by one weekly.

Penticton council to consider 5-storey, 48 unit apartment building

Pitch for 5-storey apartment

Penticton city council will discuss approving a permit for a five-storey, 48 unit apartment building on Tuesday.

Located at 286 Rigsby Street between Westminster Ave West and Wade Ave West, the property currently contains a warehouse that was built in 1949.

The plans include 39 EV ready parking spaces along with secure storage for 21 bicycles and racked bicycle parking for 10 bicycles.

Staff said they have completed a development permit analysis, which shows how the development conforms to the applicable design guidelines and aligns with Official Community Plan goals and policies.

As such, staff recommend that council consider approving the development permit.


Rock Creek Fall Fair fundraiser launches, with chance to win up to $45K

Fall fair 50/50 tickets launch

The Rock Creek Fall Fair is excited to launch its annual 50/50 fundraiser.

The popular fair runs the contest every year to raise cash to put on the event and maintain the lands and buildings of the Fair Association.

A 50/50 tickets could net the lucky winner a pretty penny — last year, they took home $30,480.

This year, the organization is selling enough tickets for the jackpot to potentially hit $45,000.

Tickets are $10 each, and the draw will take place at Sept. 15 at 4 p.m., the final day of the fair.

Only 9,000 tickets will be available, so potential buyers are urged not to wait too long. For more information on the fall fair and 50/50 tickets click here.

Penticton business raises $7K for local children's charity

$7.5K for local children

The South Okanagan Children's Charity is grateful for a $7,485.00 donation it received, thanks to fundraisers at Andrew Sheret Limited in Penticton.

Throughout 2023, each of the 33 Andrew Sheret branches across western Canada work individually to support local organizations. In Penticton, branch manager Mark Stephens, and his team chose the SOCC.

Stephens is incredibly proud of his staff for their hard work fundraising for the SOCC, which has been a cornerstone in the community since 1975. They presented the cheque in person to a happy SOCC team.

The charity provides assistance to families with children who have medical needs, whether that be equipment or travel expenses for surgeries, or anything else a family dealing with an ill child might be facing. One hundred per cent of money donated to them goes right back to local children and their families.

If your needs family needs medical assistance, please fill out the application online here

Penticton's Ha Ha Ha Kidzfest unveils fun festival lineup

Kidzfest back for a big year

Penticton's Ha Ha Ha Kidzfest is excited to once again be bringing activities and entertainment to the city this summer, unveiling a fun-filled lineup for their third year running.

From June 6 to 8, Gyro Park will be full of children and families enjoying the festival, with a 2024 theme of "Where Our Stories Meet."

"Stories are so much a part of our lives," said board chair Rachel Bland in a press release.

“They are how we learn, how we remember and how we connect with each other. We have the opportunity to share stories in such a wide variety of ways at the festival, really showcasing the art of storytelling in my forms. We hope that this festival reminds us all of how connected each of our stories actually are."

There will be main stage performers in the bandshell, activity tents and workshop zones, many of which are organized in partnership with local community and arts organizations with a focus on kids.

The headline performers are:

  • The Kif-Kif Sisters – Twin sisters from Montreal blend circus and comedy with their high-energy show
  • Kellie Haines – A ventriloquist and storyteller who transports audiences to a unique and magical place
  • The Wild Moccasin Dancers – An inter-tribal Indigenous dance troupe blending traditional powwow dancing with hip hop
  • Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret – Jack Garton and Kat Single-Dain work together in this variety show with live music and dancing
  • Trixie the Clown – Children’s entertainer and this year’s main stage MC

Workshops will include the main stage performers, as well as multiple other talented artists who work in different mediums.

Tickets for school groups to attend on the Thursday and Friday go on sale March, and have historically sold out fast. Early bird public tickets, at a rate of $9 each for all guests 3 and older, go on sale April 1 and can be purchased online here. They will be followed by regular price $10 tickets on May 1.

New this year is the "Family Buddy" program, through which the public can purchase tickets that will be donated to families who may not be able to attend otherwise.

To learn more, including opportunities to volunteer or be a business sponsor, email [email protected] to get in touch with the non-profit organization.

Tickets will be available online here.

Spring street sweeping to begin in Penticton

Spring sweeping to begin

Street sweeping crews will be soon be heading out for the season in Penticton.

According to a city press release, machines will be working in zones. Multiple crews will work in the same region at once to get it completely clean before moving on.

Work will begin Wednesday, Feb. 21 in the Wiltse neighbourhood along arterial streets.

Signs will be posted in neighbourhoods ahead of time.

Residents are asked to sweep sidewalks adjacent to gutters in advance, adhere to any temporary no parking signs, and drive carefully around the slow-moving machines.

City crews will also be removing sand from sidewalks, cleaning of traffic islands and bridges, and sweeping roads in rural areas.

Spring street sweeping will be followed by line and road marking painting.

Missed the Dine Around event? Penticton foodies still have plenty to explore

Local flavours and traditions

Zias Stonehouse in Summerland will be celebrating 26 years in May of serving delicious meals from a diverse menu.

“We are family run, focusing on pleasing everyone,” said owner Shannon Ferlizza. “Our menu has basically stayed the same over the past 25 years.”

Zias Stonehouse restaurant is established in a designated heritage building, which was built between 1910 and 1915 by Alfredo Biagioni.

“Zias has a cozy wood fireplace and a lush grape arbour or patio dining,” said Ferlizza.

“We have a beautiful atmosphere and have live music most weekends.”

Ferlizza describes the plates as “full … with lots of vegetables and fair prices,” with the most popular dish being the "Feast for Two" which offers a variety of menu items.

“Customers appreciate seeing local wineries, cideries, breweries and a distiller [on the menu], and we love supporting our local partners,” she added.

Right now, Zias is featuring a $15 lunch menu, which will be running until spring. Local music nights will also be kicking off soon, with Ferlizza recommending keeping an eye on the business' social media page for more information.

Zias is located at 14015 Rosedale Ave in Summerland. For more information, visit ziasstonehouse.com

Another local favourite is The Restaurant at Naramata Inn in Naramata, which describes itself as offering a “locally-infused dining experience.”

Using locally-sourced ingredients, The Restaurant offers a selection of “authentic flavours of the region” paired with wines predominantly from the local area.

The Restaurant at Naramata Inn is located at 3625 1 St. in Naramata. For more information, including the menu, visit naramatainn.com

Enjoy the flavours of Turkey at Elma, located at 994 Lakeshore Drive in Penticton. The Turkish-inspired family-friendly restaurant that blends local Okanagan ingredients for a best-of-both-worlds experience offers a variety of shareable food items and delicious drinks including hot herbal and Turkish teas, Turkish coffee and even Turkish soda.

For more information, visit eatatelma.com

And for brewery fare with delicious shareables, be sure to visit Cannery Brewing Co., located at 198 Ellis St. in Penticton. The family-friendly eatery offered a variety of crafted beers, local ciders and wines, as well as some longtime fan-favourite nibbles and new and exciting options to try.

For more information, visit cannerybrewing.com

These are just a few options on Penticton's dining scene. For more Penticton deliciousness, click here.

Penticton fitness competition gets official CrossFit recognition

Fitness event given cred

A high-energy fitness competition in Penticton has been officially licensed by CrossFit.

The Okanagan Valley Throwdown achieved the milestone this year, meeting stringent criteria for quality. It will take place April 20 and 21 in Penticton for its 11th year.

Jennifer Metituk, Throwdown Series organizer, is thrilled by the CrossFit recognition.

"Achieving this licensed status for our 2024 events is a testament to our team's dedication to levelling up our competitions and providing enhanced experiences for athletes and sponsors alike. We look forward to forging ahead with CrossFit Canada and the community," Metituk said.

Athletes range from 13 to 70 years old, spanning from beginners to seasoned competitors, showcasing skills as individuals and in groups of three. The competition attracts athletes from far and wide.

Registration for the Penticton event is now open. For more information, click here.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen budget public engagement planned in Naramata

Budget open house planned

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will be hosting a public meeting regarding the 2024 Draft Budget.

On Sunday, Feb. 25 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., the public is welcome to join the question and answer-style forum at the Naramata OAP Friendship Club in Naramata.

Jim Zaffino, RDOS Chief Administrative Officer and Adrienne Fedrigo, Electoral Area “E” director will be present.

The budget was reviewed by the RDOS Board at two workshops in December, and first reading passed in January, sending it to public consultation. It can be viewed online here.

All are welcome at the open meeting. Other ways to provide feedback or ask questions include emailing [email protected], or sending a letter to the RDOS office at 101 Martin Street in Penticton.

Contributed RDOS

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