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

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Teaching the next generation of skaters in Revelstoke

‘There’s very few sports out there where adults and children can play together’ says Adrian Giacca

Revelstoke’s City Hall wrapped in plastic

Revelstoke’s City Hall is wrapped in plastic for the time being. The… Continue reading

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Revelstoke Mountain CoLab will vote on becoming non-profit society

‘We’re more than just a space. We’re a community’

Revelstoke Mountain Resorts breaks ground for new hotel

The new hotel will include 154 rooms, conference space, restaurant, bar, and a fitness/spa facility

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Security guard assaulted in Kamloops park thanks police, public for quick arrest

Glen Warner, 71, was attacked on July 2 by a man who was asked by Warner to not smoke

Portraits celebrating Syilx culture now on display at Kelowna International Airport

Sheldon Pierre Louis’ art will be on display at YLW from now until July 2021

After slow start, Summerland sees more tourism activity

Majority of visitors come from within British Columbia

EDITORIAL: Accommodating Okanagan fruit pickers

Campsite for agricultural workers to open in Summerland

Deer and moose die after being chased by dogs in South Okanagan

BC conservation officers are asking the public to control their pets

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

Most Read