Tracy Hughes, Salmon Arm Observer editor

Rain doesn’t dampen parade

Not to brag or anything, but I called it.

As the long-range forecast started to roll in for the past weekend, we discussed how there might actually be some precipitation hitting our community.

My words were, “Of course there will be. Saturday is the fair parade. I’m going to be in the parade with my three kids. So there will be rain.”

Some were doubtful, after all there hasn’t been rain for 40 days and 40 nights, (oh wait, that was Noah and the ark.) But seriously, it has been more than 40 days without precipitation in the Shuswap.

There was going to be a change in this status, I knew without a doubt, there would be rain for the parade. The night before, when there was just a teasing sprinkle, I assured the people I was with that there would be some more serious moisture ahead.

It didn’t disappoint.

As soon as I had the kids loaded in the car and we headed for the Blackburn Park staging area, the drops began to hit my windshield. That it would be more than a drizzle was confirmed when my son exclaimed that he had forgotten the rain jacket I asked each child to bring with them.

Sure enough we got soaked. Puddles formed on the trailer deck of the Salmon Arm Ice Breakers Speed Skating float. Parents debated whether it was safe for kids to roller blade on the wet streets of the parade route. Socks and shoes were squishing with water. Thankfully another mom donated her team jacket to my saturated son.

But it was hard to complain. The air finally smelled fresh, as the smoke cleared and that ozone and rain on wet concrete smell took over. I didn’t realize how accustomed I’d become to smelling like a campfire, until the smell was gone.

At one point I put my arms out and looked to the sky, revelling in the fresh clean air and the cool droplets hitting my face.

And I wasn’t the only person doing that. Despite the rain, the crowd along the parade route did not disappoint. It was as thick as I’d seen it in previous years, albeit with more umbrellas and a few more people watching from the cover of their vehicles. Some even set up shade tents or huge beach umbrellas to keep the water off while they took in the spectacle.

Complaints though? I heard not a one.

Instead, as always, I was amazed by the smiles and the delighted looks as children collected candy, not to mention satisfied looks from local gardeners at the annual rush for bags of potting soil, which always cause a stir. Walking through the parade is also a nice way to say hello to a whole bunch of people in a short time, after the summer break.

After such a bizarre, hot, dry, smoky summer in the Shuswap, the rain was a welcome guest.