Sports ‘n’ Things: Silver City Days growth hampered

Silver City Days usually has something for everyone - at least everyone not on a diet that can stand to be unplugged for a few minutes

The Silver City Days Standard Weather Forecast (SSCDSWF) is upon us once again, with just enough clear breaks to make it possible, despite the cool feel of the air, for residents and visitors to pack downtown for at least part of the city’s biggest event of the year.

Just on behalf of the volunteers, who work very hard and very hopefully, in spite of the SSCDSWF, to bring the party together every year, I hope the clear breaks, which are also annual, are longer than expected.

Silver City Days usually has something for everyone – at least everyone not on a diet that can stand to be unplugged for a few minutes – and is undoubtedly a very good thing for most of the downtown core. It always does, however, highlight center city shortcomings like the lack of parking and the old bridge.

The parking thing is a constant, downtown events or not, and the powers that be seem fine with it – otherwise there would be a strong push against the all-day campers on Bay and Cedar Avenues.

The loss of the old bridge and the traffic circulation it allowed is newer, and troublesome. With it, the parade and some ancillary events on the East Trail side,  perhaps including a flea/craft/produce  market and a busy Butler Park schedule, would be attractive possibilities. Without it, everything has to be crammed into the small downtown area available, some things won’t fit, and the ball park is an afterthought.

With it, some of the impacts of severely limited parking in the event area could be mitigated by shorter walk distances and perhaps an East-West shuttle bus circulating through the area. Without it, or some other cross river alternative route, at least a few people are being discouraged from attending, or staying around for long, reducing, I am sure participation in the various activities offered.

No matter how popular some of those activities are or become, the lack of parking and an alternate avenue of access will always limit participation in downtown events, especially including Silver City Days.

The same limitations almost ensure that event cannot grow, no matter how enthusiastically the volunteers design and promote it.

Limited as it is, as it probably will always be, and despite the annual SSCDSWF, Silver City Days has a lots  to offer, fosters civic and even regional pride and allows local organizations to both promote their causes/events and fundraise.

You should go, and take some friends.