Monday, June 12, 2006

Hands Across The Border

This was one of the reasons I needed to get home from my trip to Bellingham. Or so I thought.

This particular celebration has the potential to be a great festival. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be in charge. I couldn't find one single person who had any idea about who was running the show.

Thousands of people gather in a border park for the day to do what? Watch one sparsely populated pipe band lead hundreds of children in a great circle around the grounds, have them stand in the hot sun for a few hours' worth of speeches by people no one has ever heard of, and then the RCMP and the Washington State troopers raise both flags together on top of the memorial to the Treaty of Ghent?

No food vendors, with the exception of the ice cream trucks. Very few souvenir-type items for sale, and none of them on the grounds in view of people who might want to buy them -- you have to go looking for them, and to do that, you have to know they're there! No performers. No games or entertainment of any kind.

Nothing is advertised. Nothing is promoted. Nothing is publicized. It's almost like they don't want anyone to know it's happening. Russ Hiebert didn't even show up, and it's in his constituency!

And yet, every year, thousands of Americans and Canadians gather at Peace Arch Park in White Rock/Blaine for this event.

About the only thing of interest was that I had found a blended Canadian/American flag (can't seem to find a picture of it anywhere on the web, sorry) that I liked, and I found a way to fasten it to the top of my new staff (see previous post for description of staff), extending its height by several more inches. This gave me the tallest freestanding flagpole in the area. That, in turn, attracted the few reporters, photographers, and videographers who were there. And since they seemed to be as bored with everything as I was, they spent their time chasing me down. I spent my time running away. I really, really hate having my picture taken.

As I said, this has the potential to be a great celebration, if someone were to take charge and get it publicized properly. As it is, though, I was more than disappointed.

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