At the risk of creating an explosion of debate, I’m ready to make a proclamation.
I think Salmon Arm needs to have fireworks to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday party.
But just try to get anyone in town to talk about that with you. People look at you like you’ve asked them to swallow a botulism-laced cocktail and keep their lips locked tight. I was left wondering if I suddenly developed a contagious skin rash. A few people could hardly wait to get away.
This was my experience when I mentioned I wanted to advocate in favour of fireworks for the upcoming patriotic birthday bash to a few of the movers and shakers in this town.
There have been fireworks in Salmon Arm before, but for most of recent memory, such a spectacle has been nixed due to concerns regarding the effect the loud, brightly lit show would have on the birds at the waterfront sanctuary. There was a fear the birds may be so put off as to fly off, never to return.
It does appear to be a can of worms, and one that no early bird seems to want to take on.
Well, that was until I promised anonymity.
Then the words came out in a rush, similar to the experience when your child forgets to tell you they’ve dropped that bottle of root beer just before they ask you to open it.
There were many lamentations about the lack of an evening Canada Day event in Salmon Arm, where other nearby communities like Sicamous and Blind Bay host all-day events, capped off with the traditional show in the night skies.
Admitting you would like to have fireworks in Salmon Arm is just not politically correct. The bird-lovers may send nasty tweets your way, or worse, break out the tar and feathers.
I’m not unsympathetic to the birders and their desire to keep the commotion away from the nature sanctuary, but I think there’s an appropriate compromise here.
Why not set up the fireworks show on a barge off Canoe Beach?
This year for the Holiday Train event, Canoe residents went all out for their stop, gathering the largest crowd of the night, and filling a canoe with food for local food banks. There were fireworks, bonfires and kids hockey.
Yes, you heard me, fireworks. And there was no scandal, no horrified letters to the editor and, as far as I can see, no long-term implications to the environment or wildlife – although there are certainly fewer feathered friends around in the winter months.
It is my hope such an idea is being considered by the city’s Canada 150 committee. I know I’m not the first to suggest it.
Isn’t it time we all got to have a blast, right here in Salmon Arm?