>Living in Mission, one of Calgary’s trendiest neighborhoods has its benefits. Our Starbucks has a rooftop patio, we have a restaurant dedicated to the Garlic and we even have liquor stores that are so posh that they close at 7pm on Friday nights. Of course this all comes with a price, literally. We pay some of the highest rents in Calgary. But it all seems worthwhile, once a year when our neighborhood is graced with the annual Lilac Festival.

This past Sunday morning I didn’t awake to normal peaceful noises that one is greeted with by living in Mission. Instead I awoke to slamming car doors, children crying and parents threatening to turn around and “go right home.” At first I thought that maybe a Chucky Cheese had opened up nearby over night, but I soon remember that the Lilac Festival was upon us, which meant that parents had an easy and free excuse to inflict their children and double wide strollers upon our normally peaceful neighborhood.

I decided that I should get up and enjoy the day. I went out to my balcony to with my fresh Fruit Loops and did a little people watching. It’s amazing what one witnesses when people don’t know they are being watched. In between those 20-somethings doing the walk of shame, there were the aforementioned “happy” parents with their kids in tow. Across the street unknowing people were getting parking tickets from perhaps the unfriendliest of city employees. (It was a Sunday after all.) Then there were those who felt the need to drive down from the exclusive Mount Royal district and ignore the neighborhood boy who was selling Kool-Aid for a measly 25 cents.

After my breakfast I met some friends to do walk up and down 4th street to take in all the sites the festival has to offer. While walking my friends and I came up with a list of questions of things that puzzled us.

1.How many times will someone get hit in the head by the floating balloon of the kid in front of them until they snap?
2. Why is that people are fine walking in order until they see someone they know and decidd to stop and talk to them, thus ignoring the 1000s of people that were just walking behind them.
3. How come mini-doughnuts are just simply amazing anytime of year?
4.If the entire of city shows up for the Lilac Festival, who the heck is running the rest of the city?
5. Why can’t OJ’s always have an outdoor Beach Volleyball court?

The Lilac festival as always was….busy. I don’t really remember what I saw, mostly just a lot of people and stub many a toe. But with such a large turn out it certainly seemed that parent’s threats to turn “right around” were as empty the neighborhood boy’s pockets after trying to sell his Kool-Aid. Either way by 7pm the peaceful neighborhood that is Mission was returned to us, nearly as good as new. To the residents of Calgary, thank you for enjoying Mission, please don’t come back until next year, we quite like our quiet Sunday mornings.

Mike Morrison

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