Well after a unanimous vote (except for Councilor Saindon who declined to vote), council has decided to defer Thunder in the Valley. Which in laymen terms means it isn't happening this year.
I have had my differences with some people over this issue but there was never a question on my part about the economic impact of this event on this community.
It would take more than both my hands and all my toes to count the number of times I have had business people say to me this is the one weekend of the year I make decent money in this community.
Will Thunder in the Valley be back? You tell me.
Here is my opinion of what happened (I may be wrong but you don't have to agree with me).
I believe that some of the local politicians had no intention of carrying on with Thunder In the Valley. I was telling people last summer that this would be the last year. But knowing politicians they seldom want to take the heat for their decisions. So what do politicians do, you try to find a way to blame somebody else so Council came forth with a plan prior to Christmas (even though one of their own administrators told them last night that a event of this size should be planned a year and half in advance). To strike up a committee to run the Rum runner days/Thunder in the Valley weekend. Well we all know what a hot potato this issue as been over the years. I believe at that point council anticipated that the firemen would get pissed off and tell them to stick Thunder up their rear end. Well the firemen figured that one out and real quickly threw it back in council's lap. So now what to do? well you have to find good reasons to cancel it so lets aim for two hot button issues "safety and cost". The number being thrown around last night was anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000 for additional costs for thunder in the valley. Why such a large spread in the numbers? because they weren't really sure. Are those costs justified? well lets be honest you can generate any number you want . Depending on what you ask for, if you want nobody parking in Blairmore and everybody bussed in $$$$ if you want to put a fence along the CPR tracks $$$$ if you want traffic controlled by Peace Officers instead of volunteers $$$$, an RCMP member on every street corner $$$$ and so on and so on.
Think of it has a buying a vehicle if you want to show up to work in a big diesel 4x4 all chromed up with leather seats, or you are just looking for a small safe efficient car that will get you to work and home every day the costs are going to be so different.
Safety is that an issue well it depends on what criteria you look at are there a certain numbers of twits in every crowd? no question, has that been better enforced over the years you bet 4 years ago we had 50 people in jail Saturday night last year I think we had 15 the whole weekend. Traffic I'm told that the flow of traffic has improved every year maybe people aren't telling me the truth. Could things be done better? always.
Will some people be glad it's gone? you bet.
Interesting I remember talking to an individual a couple of years back that said they would never shop at Fields ran into the guy on the weekend he can't believe that we are losing another business.
Clarification: I was just called and asked by a reader to clarify that Rum Runner Days is still scheduled to go ahead. It is only Thunder in the Valley that was cancelled by council.