‘Twas the week before Silver City Days

Finally the wait is over. The agony of watching the clock tick by until the big day is gone.

I’m not talking about today’s Federal Election or last Friday’s Royal Wedding.

From a kid’s point of view the big moment is this coming weekend’s Silver City Days.

You have to live in a small town for a while to appreciate what an event like this brings to the community.

It’s a spring ritual, it’s “take off the storms and open up the windows,” time of year.

Much like the Smokies games at Christmas-time, Silver City Days is a chance for everyone to come out of hibernation even if it’s just to have a donair, perogies or fries.

It’s a chance to give a nod to a face you haven’t seen in a while and, in turn, feel like you’re part of a community.

From a kid’s point of view none of that matters of course. It’s all about friends, a parade, rides, games, food and fireworks.

And from a parent’s point of view, it can be a nagging, costly weekend.

Every year I cringed at the rising cost of the rides and watched a couple of $20 bills evaporate before I had time to inhale my corn dog, mini-donuts and candy apple.

And while the cost of midway rides is certainly the dark side of the joy of Silver City Days, there are some benefits to be had in all this by the parents.

Around our house, for a span of about five or six years, it was like pre-Christmas time.

It usually began with an innocent request to complete any chores for a few extra bucks towards the fair. A noble gesture by someone so young that understands the correlation between work and reward.

But she took it to the next level. Suddenly chores that needn’t be done were completed.

I didn’t need the Tupperware cupboard restacked and organized.

I didn’t need by sock drawer arranged by colour.

And I certainly didn’t need my glasses cleaned everytime I sat them down on the counter.

But those were the types of things that got done and any monetary generosity from my end was gladly accepted.

It’s not that she was preoccupied with money but at an early age, she learned that no cash meant no rides.

Therefore saving up some money from previous allowances and a little extra cash for extra good behaviour a week or two before Silver City Days was certainly worth the effort.

Teeth were brushed, homework done and ready for bedtime all barely without a mention.

“Please pick up your clothes,” or “Please make your bed,” never left my lips through that blissful time.

Of course,  she subtly made sure the extra effort was noticed.

Empties to be returned? Coins to be counted?

It was quite an enjoyable time, kinda like when they still believed in Santa Claus.

And this year I think we’ll be seeing more of those happy youngsters getting a fill of something as simple as having fun in your hometown.

I have no concrete statistics but I believe there is a bit of a mini-baby boom going on locally in the last couple of years.  And soon there will be a lot more parents and grandparents going through the Silver City Days’ dollar dance.

But at end of day it’s a small price to pay for a slice of life. So we do what we can.

There is something unforgettable that happens to kids when they go to the fair. We all remember being on the merry-go-round or riding the Ferris wheel with a sweetheart or laughing with friends while getting tossed around on the Scrambler.

As parents we remember the photos of our kid’s first midway ride and faces caked with cotton candy.

To steal a credit card catch phrase … “it’s priceless.”

So when you cringe and argue with your kids about how much money is spent during Silver City Days, once the dust settles, see what kind of smile they have and that will be the gauge of how well the money was spent.

For once a year, a community comes together, much like they do during the Rossland Winter Carnival and Beaver Valley May Days, so get out, enjoy the atmosphere and, like paying taxes, grin and bear the cost in exchange for the greater good.

Guy Bertrand is the managing editor of the Trail Times.

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