Yep, it is Show & Shine Weekend. New Westminster’s biggest “Car Free Day” and the only one held downtown. The irony that our only “Car Free Day” on our most perennially traffic-challenged street that suffered from autodom and resultant urban decay due to overwhelming through-traffic for too many years and has only begun to recover thanks to an aggressive road diet and the development of a transit-oriented development scheme is an event that exists to celebrate the very autodom that caused the mess in the first place is not lost to me…
That said, the Show & Shine is the biggest annual event in New Westminster, and a great opportunity to show off our City to some ridiculous number of people (100,000+) visiting from out of town. It is also a fun event, with music, food, beer gardens, overweight guys wandering around shirtless, and assorted good times. I attend every year.
Of course, even the Show & Shine is moving into the 21st century, even as they celebrate the best of the 20th, and will have displays of Electric cars (thanks in part of the people form VEVA) and a bicycle show & shine showing off cool and retro bikes from the great folks at New West Cycle. I plan to spend some quality time hanging at the Bicycle area.
Really though, it is all about the cars, and I am not so “green” that I can’t appreciate the beautiful marriage of engineering and design that was the mid-20th century automobile. I’m partial the small, agile and European examples (If I was to own one car, any car, it would be an original 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder or – the ultimate dream – a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta lusso. But being about $2 Million short, I will have to settle for my 1996 Civic that is edging towards 250,000 km and just passed AirCare) but mostly admire the dedication and hard work of the people who care about collecting, restoring, and preserving these machines of a bygone era.
There is another community event on Sunday. Over at lower Hume Park, the City Parks folks and Evergreen (a not-for-profit that works to protect urban ecology) are holding the second “Uncover your Creeks” event at Hume Park. You can bring your family to learn about the ecology of Hume Park and the Brunette River, and even help with some invasive plant removal and water quality sampling in the river. It is a great chance to do a little Citizen Science and help out our local parks!
All this Sunday action follows Summerfest in Grimston Park on Saturday afternoon/evening.
This truly grassroots neighbourhood celebration is open to all, and is especially family-oriented. Grimston Park is taken over by a big neighbourhood picnic, with fun and games, food vendors, a musical stage, and, as the sun sets, a n outdoor screening of the the tacitly-misnomered family movie “The Neverending Story”.
There is also a movie being shown outdoors at the Queens Park Stadium on Friday Night. This part of the City’s ongoing Summer Outdoor Movie Series – sponsored by local Realtor and Community-builder Derrick Thornhill. The summer series kicks off with the heartwarming story of a young man and his DeLorean:
This is the part of summer I love- something to do every day, and all the weather reason to stay outside enjoying it all. But also the reason why I just can’t write as much stuff here as I would like- too busy enjoying life to record it all. Have fun out there, New West!