Something of value | April 11, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Perspective - April 11, 2008

Something of value

Danville's Hot Summer Nights have been popular car shows for the past 13 years, drawing thousands of folks to town for four nights each summer. The events were the result of yearlong efforts by organizers; even though temperatures often reached more than 100 degrees when the shows began at 4 p.m., volunteers would be out in their official T-shirts to welcome people to the show and make the experience a good one.

The debate for years has been whether these shows actually benefit Danville economically. Sure they are a draw and the restaurants do a booming business that night but do the attendees return to benefit the downtown shops at a later date? Many business owners think not; they say they have tried using the evening as a promotion but it just hasn't worked. Three of the town council members listened to these complaints and voted to reduce the number of Hot Summer Nights from four to two. Some people also thought perhaps the $20,000 for policing each event might be better spent elsewhere.

This year the other two Thursdays will be used for promotions to shop locally, to draw residents to Hartz Avenue and its side streets to discover the attractions of the central business district. Hopefully the businesses can make it work because a lot of residents will miss the car shows on those two nights.

An old proverb says, "If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them." So, too, we hope something worthwhile will replace the car shows. On the balmy summer evenings of July and August, the car shows are great family events, a gathering spot for young and old alike, plus a chance to invite friends from other Bay Area locations to town for a unique evening's entertainment.


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