Elvis (Steve Elliott) delights the Ashcroft audience with his ever-popular tribute to the King.

Elvis (Steve Elliott) delights the Ashcroft audience with his ever-popular tribute to the King.

Rocking and rolling weekend in Ashcroft

There was something for everyone in Ashcroft last weekend, including the TRYathlon, Elvis, and a CBC-TV star.

The fourth annual Kids’ TRYathlon took place in Ashcroft under grey skies and scattered showers, but that did little to dampen the spirits of the 50 participants, who ranged in age from three to 16. The athletes each swam laps of the Ashcroft pool, took part in a biking portion that brought them from the pool to the Heritage Park, and then finished the event with a run down Railway. The length of each portion of the TRYathlon varied according to the age group.

Mia and Jace Klassen with their TRYathlon medals. Photo by Barbara Roden

The event received major sponsorship from Interior Savings Credit Union, Second Time Around, and the United Way, while Spoke ’N Motion in Kamloops helped sponsor the grand prize of a bike. It was won by eight-year-old Caden Scharfenberg.

Caden Scherfenberg (l) with TRYathlon organizer Vicky Trill and the bike he won. Photo by Barbara Roden

TRYathlon organizer Vicky Trill says that it’s “the best event ever” to raise funds for. This year’s TRYathlon training camp attracted 22 participants, and Trill said that she hopes for a fifth race, and third training camp, in 2017.

Events at the Heritage Park continued after the TRYathlon ended, with a Children’s Festival hosted by Make Children First. Musician Will Stroet, star of the children’s music video series Will’s Jams, which airs on CBC-TV, delighted the audience with two sets, and there was also First Nations dancing and music, a water table, arts and crafts, games, and face-painting. The Ashcroft volunteer fire department came out with a fire engine and emergency vehicle, to the delight of a steady stream of young visitors who could not resist trying out the engine’s horn.

Spences Bridge jingle dancer Teresa Thomas. Photo by Barbara Roden

At 5 p.m. Elvis returned to Ashcroft, with tribute artist Steve Elliott bringing his always-popular show to the Heritage Park. The audience was treated not only to many of the King’s greatest hits, in the 90-minute concert; there were also songs by Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and Neil Diamond.

Gordon and Darlene Daily take time out from the Lions concession to trip the light fantastic. Photo by Barbara Roden

“It’s great fun to come back here,” said Elliott. “I love the small towns.” He paid frequent tribute to the friendliness and hospitality he always encounters in Ashcroft, such as the fresh-baked blueberry pie someone had made for him and his wife. “I’ll have to make sure I get a piece,” he joked.

Elvis gets up close and personal with young fan Sully. Photo by Barbara Roden

On the morning of Sunday, July 17 Elliott was back at the Heritage park for his traditional show featuring Elvis’s gospel music. The rain of the day before stayed away, and the 100 or so people who gathered at the park were treated to another fine show under sunny, warm skies.

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