Shut down these roads

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2015

For all the great things that happen downtown on any given day, we love it best when Suffolk officials close North Main Street and West Washington Street for special events, much as they did for the popular Taste of Suffolk event on Saturday.

Whether it’s the Peanut Fest or Christmas parades, the Taste of Suffolk or the Shake, Rattle and Roll Car Show, when Suffolk holds a special event downtown, things slow down a little, and one of Virginia’s fastest-growing cities feels, for a few hours at least, a lot like the small town that longtime residents still remember.

Neighbors meander along, stopping at booths and stages along the way to enjoy the wares and entertainment on display. Friends stop and chat in the middle of the road. Politicians shake hands and coo over babies. It’s a little slice of Americana that sometimes feels lost in these days of Internet connectivity and hurried lives.

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Taste of Suffolk was a great example, and the fact that it attracted so many people this year, even with the weather threatening to turn ugly and eventually shutting the festivities down early, proves there’s significant interest in this type of event.

Most of the 16 restaurants that participated in the event reported brisk business selling their sample-sized dishes. The vendor booths stayed busy. The Buffalo Wild Wings challenge attracted big crowds and plenty of participants each time it was held. And folks always seem to love looking at the cars on display.

Suffolk Tourism did a great job putting this event together. We sincerely hope the folks in that city department will find new opportunities to shut down these roads for the afternoon again soon.