To some it's the first pull and stutter of the lawnmower. To others it's the first ray of sun to hit your glow stick legs. And to people from out east, the beginning of summer is marked by a weekend on the calendar. The May 2-four..
As anyone who is part of the 'East Infection' will tell you, the May 2-four is the name given to the May long weekend, not because it falls on the 24th, but because (out there) a case of beer contains 24 bottles. Hence, the May 2-four. That explanation is usually followed by an exhausting tirade saying how BC is so expensive, it's hockey team sucks, and yet they don't go back.
This past May 2-four saw most of my time being eaten up by errands and to do lists rather than the traditional camping and clowning around. So it was on my um-teenth trip into town I finally had to stop and ponder the skookum new fence going up beside the high school directly across from Squamish Station. It would appear that Squamish has once again lured a world class artist into its midst. Interestingly enough, this particular artist's medium is sand. The plan, as I understand it, is to have a remarkable freestanding sculpture that is roughly the size of a house. No doubt, over the course of the summer this will draw hundreds if not thousands of curious eyes. As well there was talk of a mini putt course to round off the perfect day with the family.
That's wonderful isn't it? It seems like a good solid idea that is just the kind of new direction the downtown was promised at election time to hook visitors to the end of Cleveland Avenue. But wait! It's not at the end of Cleveland Avenue; it's actually perfectly situated so that once again people have a reason not to cross the tracks into town.
Now, the first question one might ask is, "Why would a mayor and council, elected primarily on their perceived love for the downtown core, chose to put yet another attraction on the wrong side of the tracks?" Well, apparently the bright lights of Hollywood have blinded yet another town into doing their bidding. It appears MGM has said they 'might' want to temporarily use the laughing stock building that used to house Mountain Building Centers at the end of Cleveland Avenue. But they'll only 'consider' it if the surrounding area remains un-developed.
I suppose in the end it just comes down to the fast payoff. Sure the
sandcastle competition would draw thousands downtown, but bright lights have
deeper pockets. Plus, why would you want a sand sculpture depicting all of
Squamish's beauty, competing with a building that, for years, has served as
a testament to our willingness to let the downtown rot. At least with the
new sandcastle location where it is, Starbucks will have plenty more
corporate coffee sales leaving local downtown merchants time to once again
ponder "What did I do to deserve this?"