Huge crowd celebrates Sunfest opening night with Canyon, Pritchett in Lake Cowichan

Aaron Pritchett, who lives on Gabriola Island now, celebrates his birthday in style on the Sunfest mainstage. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
A big crowd turns out Thursday night to kick off Sunfest Country Music Festival 2018 in style. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
The night was cool but pleasant at Laketown Ranch, just the right atmosphere for a little dancing. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
George Canyon sings at what he called “a big old kitchen party” at Sunfest Country Music Festival in Lake Cowichan Aug. 2. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Jojo Mason, left, who is scheduled to play Sunfest tonight (Friday) joins Aaron Pritchett onstage Thursday. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Thursday night was a party night for thousands of fans as Sunfest 2018 opened at Laketown Ranch in Lake Cowichan Aug. 2.

Two Canadian stars were featured on opening night of the huge country music festival.

It was Aaron Pritchett’s 48th birthday, so the stage was decked with balloons and streamers. Even his mic had a red ribbon attached.

And George Canyon followed up, teasing the crowd that they were in for “nine hours of non-stop music” at his down home “kitchen party”.

Both these performers are popular with Vancouver Island fans. Pritchett has lived most of his life in B.C. and now makes his home on Gabriola Island, and Canyon’s support for Canada’s armed forces and his warm onstage personality meant their return to Sunfest drew a lot of people out on what has usually been a warm-up night for the big festival in Lake Cowichan.

Pritchett sang all his hits, and also asked the crowd to join him in a wild medley of 90s pop songs that even included ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls.

Canyon, who, early in his set, said his family is one of the most important things in his life, then offered a song for all the men who had a son, clearly demonstrating his ability to reach out and touch his listeners.

The result was that everyone had a great time, and, with three more days of music and fun at Sunfest still to come, including headliner Eric Church on Sunday, anticipation is high that things can only get better at this year’s festival.

Just Posted

BUDGET 2020: Port Alberni Fire Department needs new equipment

Police services ask for funding for community policing office

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

Alberni Valley Community Forest manager hosts open house

More trails registered in community forest

EDITORIAL: We all have a say in Port Alberni’s annual budget

The City of Port Alberni released its proposed five-year financial plan for 2020-2024…

BUDGET 2020: High staff injury rate, poor condition of parks driving up costs in Port Alberni

City’s departmental budget presentations continue Dec. 4 with police, fire and technology

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read