OUR VIEW: Fun is front and centre

Congratulations to the organizers, the teams and the fans of bed racing.

Congratulations to the organizers, the teams and the fans of bed racing. The second annual Bed Races on Beacon was another big success.

The event is a testament to the kinds of great things that can happen on a vibrant downtown street — and joins a long list of other community events that use Sidney’s main drag as a venue.

This weekend sees another of those events, the Torque Masters Car Club’s annual car show. It runs pretty well all day this Sunday, Aug. 23 and draws vehicle enthusiasts from all over Vancouver Island and elsewhere.

These events — from the Thursday evening street markets to the Sidney Days Parade — add to the overall community spirit that’s alive and well in the community.

It’s also mirrored within the neighbouring communities of Saanichton and Brentwood Bay when organizations there get front-and-centre with their celebrations.

In common with all of these events on the Saanich Peninsula and elsewhere, is the use of public spaces to add character and joy to everyone’s local experience.

The roads we normally drive on are not just roads and it’s always an interesting experience to walk down the centre of them, enjoying the spectacles of these community events, and not have to worry about when the next vehicle is coming.

This is not a call for more pedestrianized streets. It is praise for communities that are welcoming and flexible enough to turn what could be considered vital commercial links, into spaces for public celebration. There are often complaints and concerns that when the streets are closed to vehicles, potential business is lost.

While that may be so, from a driver’s perspective, what about the potential for more visitors who are on foot, or who may return to the community because they had such a good time?

A balance between both needs is a great compromise to foster good business and great community spirit.