A Quick Opinion: Watch out for what you wish for

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Charles R. Wallace
Publisher Emeritus

It is no accident that Winters has a vibrant downtown and expanding housing market. Who wouldn’t want to live here? Well, some people move here and can’t adjust to the small-town atmosphere, but most of us like it here. There have been dozens of people who have used their energy and money to make Winters a special place to live and visit. Their hard work is paying off with several annual events and a successful downtown.

When a small group of people came up with the idea of having a tractor parade, I would bet that none of them expected it to become the event that it is today. The event outgrew the original planners and when the city was asked to help the Winters Chamber of Commerce and Discover Winters, the city handed it off to a professional event planner, Bay Area Pop Up Events.

If you see someone around town, always in a hurry, dressed like he came out of a big city and carrying a file folder, that is Steven Restivo, the man in charge of our Tractor Parade. This isn’t his first rodeo, so I’m giving him the benefit of a doubt that he can pull this off without too many problems.

He talked to me about parking, and what can you say to someone who hasn’t witnessed a thousand cars trying to find parking in Winters? I live on the north side of Winters, and people park in my neighborhood during the Tractor Parade. When he first brought up parking, at first I just smiled and then I laughed. He has no idea, or maybe he does, coming from San Francisco. If he can get the parking under control, I’ll tip my hat to him and proclaim him the best event planner in California.

The tree lighting, with family activities, is from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2. The tree lights will be turned on at 6 p.m. The Tractor Parade starts on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. but there will be entertainment, food trucks and family activities from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Last year we tried to have family meet us for the parade, which wasn’t a problem. Trying to get out of town proved to be a nightmare. Maybe the hotel has a few extra rooms to rent on Saturday night, or we can stay up past our bedtimes and host an after-parade party for out-of-town guests. Neither solution sounds good to me, so I’ll just walk home and try not to worry about everyone else.

As we gather for Thanksgiving, we should all take a moment to remember how nice it is to live in Winters. Most of us don’t have real problems, think of Ukraine or Afghanistan and count our blessings. People are very generous around the holidays and with community dinners, food programs and local churches pitching in, everyone should be feeling a little better about the future. At least for a little while.

Enjoy some turkey and have a good week.

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