EDITORIAL: Attitudes about alcohol have changed

EDITORIAL: Attitudes about alcohol have changed

The 1991 Penticton riot is not a good argument against allowing alcohol in public

While the City of Penticton has approved a pilot project to allow alcohol in certain outdoor spaces, some are concerned about the possible consequences of this decision.

The one-month pilot project, which began June 3, has had some applauding the decision while others have voiced their concerns and opposition.

Some of the naysayers have referenced the 1991 riot, following an MC Hammer concert during the Peach Festival.

The giant peach concession stand was rolled into Okanagan Lake by the rioters. By morning, windows and lights in downtown Penticton had been smashed.

READ ALSO: Decades don’t diminish memories of riot

READ ALSO: Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

The riot received international news coverage, and today it remains a black mark on Penticton’s history.

For several years afterward, there was a sense of uneasiness around large public gatherings, the Peach Festival and long weekends in Penticton.

And even today, that riot is sometimes used as an argument against allowing alcohol in public spaces.

This is not fair. There are multiple factors at play when a riot occurs.

More importantly, the city of Penticton is not the same as it was in 1991, and the attitudes around alcohol have changed significantly over the past three decades.

In 1991, Penticton had night clubs, but no craft breweries. The wine industry was still in its infancy in the South Okanagan.

Today, the night clubs are gone, but Penticton has a thriving craft brewery culture. Some of these are family-friendly spaces, where parents will bring their young children.

Penticton also holds the Fest of Ale, a celebration of craft beer. This event has been in place for the past 25 years.

And the wineries in the South Okanagan and Similkameen play a significant role in tourism and in the local economy.

Furthermore, Penticton has not had another incident anything like the 1991 riot.

Times have changed.

Allowing alcohol consumption in some public spaces is a significant change from past policies, and it is a change that will have some people feeling uneasy.

This issue deserves to be discussed and considered carefully.

But the discussion should be based on what is happening today, not on a horrible mistake made nearly 30 years ago.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BeerEditorials

Just Posted

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

An example of the kinds of invasive plants that can be found in Golden. (Tesia Hackett photo)
Golden annual weedpull back for 14th year

Invasive plants can be harmful to local ecosystems, Wildsight says

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

BC CDC map showing the geographic distribution of cases in the province. (BC CDC photo)
No new cases of COVID-19 in Golden

The last time the BC CDC reported a new case in the area was the week of May 23-29

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read