Festivals turn struggle into success

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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A common narrative for many young Moose Javians in the past was that if you wanted to find excitement, you’d hop in your vehicle and drive to Regina.

The Queen City, at almost five-and-a-half times the population of our Friendly City, hosts more events than we do. That should come as no surprise.

But that’s not a criticism of the many volunteers and organizers here in Moose Jaw that put in the time to pull off the great summer festivals that have become a fabric of this city’s culture.

In two recent, back-to-back weekends, Moose Javians have been able to enjoy a pair of those festivals. Sidewalk Days, a three-day event held along the city’s Main Street, drew thousands to Moose Jaw’s historic downtown to enjoy live music, delicious food and a fantastic aerobatic performance by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds — their only show in Saskatchewan this season.

This past weekend, Motif drew thousands more into Happy Valley Park to celebrate cultural diversity. Like Sidewalk Days, great food and live performances were two other tangible benefits of this event.

Last year, both groups faced difficulties. Motif almost failed to launch, and Sidewalk Days was dealing with a lack of volunteers that threatened it, as well.

This year, Motif drew more vendors than ever before, and Sidewalk Days was — by all accounts — a tremendous success that grew considerably over the previous year’s incarnation.

But if you need another indicator of how significant these events are for our city, here’s a great one: when asked by the Times-Herald about where they travelled from to attend Motif this year, seven of the 10 who responded said Regina.

A similar situation unfolded during Sidewalk Days, when people travelled here from many municipalities to take in the music and enjoy some good food.

The turn-arounds for these organizations were not just beneficial for them, or for the Moose Jaw public. The influx in people visiting the friendly city would have also had some carry-over into Moose Jaw businesses that stood to benefit from the larger number of tourists in town.

All of that notwithstanding, it’s also an unusual trend for Moose Jaw to draw in large volumes of people from our bigger sister down the road.

In recent weekends, the Friendly City has managed to achieve that — with healthy assists from two of the city’s greatest summer events.

If that’s not worth applauding, what is?

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Times-Herald, Canadian Forces Snowbirds

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Friendly, Queen City Saskatchewan Happy Valley Park

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