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Trail’s Silver City Days return at last

Trail’s signature event is back for the first time since 2019.

Silver City Days, which had been cancelled three times due to the pandemic, officially kicks off today with the opening of the Shooting Star midway on the Esplanade and Riverfront food fair.

“We’re back, we’re excited, and we can tell the community is beyond excited,” says events co-ordinator Andrea Jolly.

The family-friendly multi-day festival celebrates Trail’s traditions, culture, and community and continues through Sunday. It normally draws thousands of people from around the region.

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Last year tentative plans were made for the festival to resume, but the plug was pulled in January when COVID restrictions were still in place, leading to some angst in the community.

“We felt that angst too,” Jolly says. “It was a huge gap in our annual ritual. But in order to do it right, we needed the proper time to get everything together. It takes months.

“We do apologize that we didn’t host it for the three years. We really did do our best and we were really excited to come together as a committee this year, start the planning, and the sense among the committee members is pure excitement because we can really sense the anticipation and excitement in the community to come out this weekend.”

The organizing committee of eight works with many community organizations to pull off the event. However, Jolly said since the last festival was held, some people had moved on to other things. While the committee was “a bit rusty,” she said they have a good event template to work from so they were able to pull things together.

This year’s festival closely matches ones from previous years, with a few differences.

Things kicked off last night with the Citizen of the Year ceremony for Peter Makortoff. Old favourties include the firefighters’ parade, Colombo Lodge Spaghettata and bocce tournament, the Trail Ambassador Pageant, the Saturday Sidewalk Café, a beer garden, grape stomp, and fireworks. The full schedule is at www.silvercitydays.com.

New this year is a Billy Joel and Elton John tribute at the Bailey Theatre on Saturday evening. Sunday will see family-friendly activities at Gyro Park from noon to 3 p.m. featuring Circus West’s free workshops and shows.

There’s also a pancake breakfast Sunday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at St. Michael’s School put on by the Knights of Columbus.

The festival means several street closures, so the city urges caution when driving through downtown. The aquatic centre will be closed Saturday so staff can run the KidZone inside the Trail Memorial Centre. The fitness centre will still be open for regular hours.

There will be no fun run this year, but organizers hope it will return next year.

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