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Connecting to Communities through Summer Festivals

I try to make a point to take my girls to the various festivals that occur throughout the Lower Mainland. There are two reasons for this: fun, and exposure to culture and diversity. It’s fun to explore new neighbourhoods – each has it’s unique stamp: people, organizations, pride. It’s also nice to see the diversity of each place we visit and how it changes demographically, by a few kilometres.

Recently, we visited the ‘Hats off Day‘ festivities in Burnaby. We meandered up and down Hastings. We stopped to climb all over a fire truck and discussed how firefighters work hard to save lives. We witness the ribbon cutting of the new South Burnaby Neighbourhood House. We watched gymnasts jump ridiculously high on trampolines and imagined the girls as future gymnasts. We stopped at the Burnaby Public Library and had a reprieve from the busy-ness of the day (My favourite! Have you seen the “I Spy” Table?!).

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The following week, we participated in ‘Car Free Day‘ in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood. Again, the street was closed and I watched as my girls took over the street with no care for cars. A clown gave the girls balloon creations, the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund had volunteers paint their faces, and music played on to the beat of ‘Swing’ as dancers demonstrated their magic.

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With summer festivities in full swing, and opportunities abound, I reflect on the importance of such events. Attending these events give me a sense of community. Belonging. I can ask questions that I wouldn’t otherwise ask because my children are curious (I can ask on their behalf). I lose my inhibitions this way and feel closer to those who take the time to give to the community to give us these days.