No better place to people watch than a music festival

No better place to people watch than a music festival

Last week I found myself in town facing a two and a half hour wait until my 3 p.m. medical appointment. How best to fill the time? Others might have driven home, then returned. Not me. Neither are coffee shops my thing; in my tote bag I carried a bottle of water, a banana, and a Mars bar. Breakfast had been at 8:30 that morning.

Weather was cool and drizzly. Not ideal to stroll around George Little Park or sit on a picnic bench to snack on fruit.

By chance my dental technician mentioned the Pacific Northwest Music Festival was happening in the church across the street. Having often volunteered for the event, she spoke approvingly of the free entertainment the participants offered.

Though this is the Festival’s 53rd year, if memory serves I had never attended.The chance to sit comfortably out of the rain and people watch — my favourite activity — was too enticing to pass up.

The lobby of the venue was quiet as a church – this was, after all, a church . A volunteer held open the door for me to the performance area. A smattering of audience occupied random seats throughout the room, while a young man seated at a table just below the stage next to a lady who turned out to be the activity manager, made notes on a thin stack of papers.

I slipped into the empty last row.

Sprinkled in with a parent or two were a few grandparents, one of them knitting a toque. A quiet but wriggling knot of ten-year-olds filled several forward rows, shepherded by a benevolent but clearly respected teacher.

Lacking any printed program I had no idea which school these students attended, their names or their teachers. People watching is most fun when all are anonymous.

It was obvious the young man was the adjudicator; he offered performance tips before awarding first and second prizes for some category of speech arts.

During a break the grandmother seated in front of me was informed the next event would begin at 2:45; she would have ample time to make her appointment later.

Low conversations broke out here and there: kids flitted from teacher to family; one lad styled his mother’s long tresses with his fingers; others read over the adjudicator’s suggestions for improvement. The adjudicator, who had been on duty since early forenoon, stretched out across several seats, his big shoes on the pink fabric upholstery. A protocol lapse in the view of any upholsterer.

I wouldn’t make it home until at least 4 p.m. I was already hungry.

With everyone occupied and oblivious to me, I gulped the banana and had taken two bites of a Mars bar when the activity manager approached to murmur, “No food or drink in the church.”

I had suspected as much, though more than one adult including the activity manager had sipped from a bottle of water in plain view.

Next up was a Bible selection. Once adjudicated and prizes awarded, the room sprang to life as everyone hurried to leave.

Teachers have a knack for organization. “Everyone got your jacket on? Zipped? Your lunches? Your Bibles? Your umbrellas?”

With 30 minutes to go, I finished my Mars bar walking to the doctor’s office though one grandmother had kindly offered me a ride.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The report prepared by Independent Investigations Office of BC said that no offence was committed by the police officer from Lisims/ Nass Valley RCMP detachment while responding to a stabbing incident that led to an in-custody death. (Black Press file photo)
Nass Valley RCMP officer cleared in October 2020 police-involved death

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. concludes no offence committed by police officer

Back Row, Left to Right: Laura Archibald, (teacher), Sarah Engdahl, Victoria Cho, Bronwen Bennett, Briana Simms, Jalynn Gibson, Sydney Harris, Braya Kluss, Valentina Protheroe, Isabella Gibson, Emily Hart, (teacher). Front Row, Left to Right: Collin Maillet, Hannah Hansen, Layla Loutitt, Isabella Kossler, Zadie Kietzmann, Izzie Croot, Deanna McDicken, Hope Misner. Missing: Brianna Onstein, Makenna Harris. (Submitted Photo/Tracey Hart)
Terrace’s Art in Motion Dance earns accolades at Prince George Dance Festival

The group earned a total of 21 trophies during the competition

A temporary fix to erosion problems on Lanfear Hill has been approved. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
City to spend $360,000 on temporary hill fix

Will restore pedestrian and cycle use of Lanfear Hill

Terrace Community Fund was able to set up the Dare to Dream Fund with a significant donation from Trumpeter Donnie Clark. (File photo)
Dare to Dream Fund set up after a large donation from musician Donnie Clark

The fund will provide financial support for the Dare to Dream music program in Terrace and Thornhill

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Most Read