At last weekend’s Strawberry Festival, a certain joy was in the air, almost palpable, as what is perhaps the unofficial kickoff to summer in Niagara-on-the-Lake returned after far too long.
Organizers and festival-goers alike expressed their happiness at the resumption of this much-loved rite of spring and summer.
Everyone, it seems, was ready for it and ready to spend time socializing, sampling the tasty fare, bargain-hunting and berry-buying.
Like the annual tulip bulb sale the day prior and the upcoming Strawberry Social, these returns to normalcy are necessary and welcome.
Yes, COVID is still out there and still worrisome, with new variants in the offing and more waves predicted this fall.
But being sociable types, humans crave and need such interaction.
So, looking ahead, we’ll have plenty of opportunity for just that.
As we already have reported, the Cake Parade, pancake breakfast and July 1 barbecue, plus a host of other Canada Day festivities, also are returning.
And just a week later, we’ll mark the return of the Cherry Festival. And in August, peaches.
Despite what might come to pass next fall, it is important for all manner of reasons that we take the opportunity to safely enjoy these gatherings.
We look forward to seeing all our friends and neighbours out and about in the coming weeks.
Summer’s here and the time is right for … however you choose to celebrate it.