Missed opportunity

When 2,500 cyclists come to the South Okanagan for a ride, every community in the region stands to gain.

During the Granfondo Axel Merckx cycling event next month, cyclists will have an opportunity to see what this region has to offer. If they are impressed, they may choose to return in the future.

Earlier, some in the community had discussed setting up a festival to coincide with this cycling event, but now that festival will not proceed.

Organizers say the money was lacking, the time frame was too short and most importantly, the proposed festival did not get community support.

This lack of a positive response puzzles us.

For the last several months, the community has been caught up debating the merits of a possible prison in the South Okanagan, a discussion which is premature since the province has not announced where the facility will be built.

If even a fraction of that energy had gone into organizing a festival, the results could have been spectacular.

Unlike the prison proposal, the Granfondo Axel Merckx is a sure thing. The event has been organized and if a festival had been set up here, at least some of the 2,500 participants and their families would have attended.

Even if Summerland could not have held a large-scale festival, a smaller event in Memorial Park would have been much better than nothing.

Festivals will draw visitors and the visitors will spend some of their money here.

More importantly, those who attend a festival here will tell their friends and family about the experience they enjoyed. As a result, more people are introduced to our community.

This will not happen.

As a community, we have missed an opportunity which could have benefitted everyone.

— Summerland Review