Learning to pivot

If there’s anything the worldwide pandemic has taught us, it’s how to change things at a moment’s notice: the ubiquitous “pivot” is now perhaps more a part of our lives than any other action. This skill is one that the organizers of any events across the region certainly found supremely useful last week.

As more and more activities that were shut down last year are now happening again, with vaccination changing the climate for interaction, the variable that can still shut them down is the weather. And the weather last weekend was definitely challenging for anyone trying to have outdoor gatherings, from parties to concerts to carnivals. 

Perhaps the event most clearly and widely affected by the violent storms was Canaan Railroad Days, when the parade and fireworks had to be postponed from Saturday, July 17 to  Saturday, July 24 (see the front page this week for more on the rescheduled events for Railroad Days.) The storms of July 17 brought down trees and limbs, and washed out lots of gravel and dirt areas with rushing water. Northwest Corner towns cleaned up the roads quickly and without too many adverse effects.  

But the heavy rides and trailers at the Canaan Railroad Days carnival were embedded in the mud, and couldn’t have been moved without lots of problems even if organizers had wanted to do that. Instead, they decided to postpone the events for that night, and keep the carnival in place so that there would be more opportunity for those who missed the fun last year to have more time to partake this year. 

It’s hard enough to put on such community events without having the weather turn bad at the very moment one would like it to cooperate. Of course, none of us can control that, try as we might, so dealing with the repercussions as well as possible is all we can do. Kudos to all those who found ways to take outdoor events inside as possible during the storm. And kudos to those who run the many events at Railroad Days for pivoting and finding a way to salvage some of the fun for community members of all ages, but especially for the young children and families who have a limited number of years to experience the carnival and fireworks.

North Canaan, and we’ve said this before, is experiencing a renaissance at this moment, with the road and track construction in the middle of town finally addressing safety for drivers, and more new downtown businesses filling retail spaces. 

Take the time to visit downtown North Canaan this summer despite the construction, and take a look at the new shops, a renovated Roma’s which may open by next weekend and experience the Depot building in its current state of complete renewal. It will be worth your while, and will help those businesses that are isolated due to the ongoing construction. Making the effort to go there will give them a clear sense that they are supported by their community. 

And be sure to take part in the Railroad Days events as outlined on the front page.

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