Sicamous steps it up

It’s always easy to point out how green the grass is on the other side.

It’s always easy to point out how green the grass is on the other side.

Case in point would be Sicamous this summer.

This little community of around 3,000 full-time residents is usually busy at this time of year, with people swarming the area for houseboat vacations, visits with relatives, stays at their summer residences and what have you.

It would be easy for Sicamous to take it all for granted, to take the tourists’s money and say thank you very much.

But that’s not Sicamous’ style.

This summer, this little community has hosted one big event after another, so that pretty much every weekend has been hopping with activity.

Take Canada Day. Yes, ours and other Shuswap communities do it well, but Sicamous this year did something unique. It embraced its hockey heritage and built a day around a giant road hockey tournament that included famous local players of past and present. On the same day there was a pancake breakfast, the Eagle Valley Brush and Pallet Club’s annual art show, live music and more. And, as usual, the Canada Day in Sicamous concluded with what is arguably the best fireworks show in the Shuswap.

Meanwhile in Salmon Arm, the Salmon Arm Canada Day Children’s Festival, made possible by a multitude of generous volunteers and sponsors, gave locals an opportunity to celebrate and little ones to have fun.

But things didn’t end in Sicamous after the fireworks show. The following day there was a giant show and shine classic car show accompanied by a large craft market.

Since then, Sicamous has hosted massive ball tournaments and the Summer Stomp, which has successfully adopted a large, free family-friendly component.

Then there was Family Fun Day, which included everything from sand-castle cardboard boat building competitions to hang gliding to two fantastic shows by the Vancouver Circus School.

Last weekend saw the return of the Moose Mouse, which included a parade, a community appreciation barbecue and live music.

It should be noted a lot of the Sicamous events were either free – covered by the District of Sicamous or the Sicamous chamber – or at available at a nominal charge or donation.

Back in Salmon Arm, a city with a population of around 17,000, we have one real big family-friendly event to look forward to this summer, the Roots and Blues festival. As fantastic as it is, financially speaking it simply isn’t accessible for a lot of families.

Summer is an opportunity to show off, to strut our stuff, to say we’re not just open for business, but also a great place for people of all ages to live.

Yes, we have plenty of green grass other communities might envy. But it won’t be growing much on its own.