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Editorial: Brackendale Fall Fair and GranFondo and bring Squamish together

'So often, we tend to make things an either-or. Last weekend showed we can be all in for Squamish in more ways than one.'

Squamish folks voted for the community with their feet this weekend when the RBC GranFondo Whistler and Brackendale Fall Fair came to town.

On first blush, the GranFondo sounds like something Squamish locals would wholeheartedly support.

Goodness knows we are a biking town, and a morning with less traffic and more riding on the Sea to Sky Highway sounds like a dream.

We also have a town full of athletes who love to push themselves.

But in the lead-up to the event, raise the topic of the GranFondo, and many locals make the same face one makes when eating rotten nuts.

Though only one morning of the year, the traffic headaches it causes can’t be understated.

The truth is, if it were just once a year we dealt with traffic snarls, most would probably be less cranky, but it is yet another morning of headaches after a summer full of them, weekend after weekend.

And with the Brackendale Fall Fair not running for a few years, it was easy to blame those spandex-wearing folks for hampering the small-town affair.

But what we saw this last weekend shows the two things can both bring out our best community support.

For the GranFondo, partners cheered on their spouses, kids cheered on their parents, and friends showed up to wave as the 3,700 cyclists passed first thing in the morning.

There were 82 Squamish riders in the event this year, which raised $33,000 for charity.

Special shout out to the Brackendale bacon station that gives riders the best energy yet as they pass by each year.

In terms of wheels on the road, the Brackendale Fall Fair gave the fondo a run for its money this year, with untold hundreds of folks cycling to the event.

Never have organizers seen such a turnout for the family-friendly fair.

There were smiles from ear-to-ear not just from the tasty corn, zucchini races, petting zoo, music and many local vendors, but from the camaraderie of seeing friends old and new in the crowds.

Fair producer Glenne Campbell told The Squamish Chief that while final numbers haven’t yet been tallied, it was a record-breaking year with at least 5,000 coming to the fair at the Brackendale Farmers’ Institute Park.

Kudos to the approximately 130 volunteers who made it happen.

So often, we tend to make things an either-or.

This weekend showed we can be all in for Squamish in more ways than one.

It is not too early to sign up to support either event in 2024.


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