The sidewalk in front of the historic Peachland Schoolhouse now features a rainbow. (Mayor Cindy Fortin)

Peachland debuts new rainbow sidewalk

Mayor Cindy Fortin said the district is proud of the colourful work

A portion of Beach Avenue in downtown Peachland just got a whole lot brighter.

The sidewalk in front of the Peachland Schoolhouse has been painted over with a rainbow.

Peachland mayor Cindy Fortin said the work took crews a day to finish, which she said was a pleasant surprise.

“I think it’s absolutely beautiful. It really warms my heart to see it completed… I just think it’s such a good thing to have and a good symbol of a community that’s accepting of all people,” she said.

“It’s especially poignant during this time, at a time when we’re all doing our best to protect one another and come together as a community by staying apart and realizing that we’re all the same underneath our skin.”

“We all have the same cares, the same loves, the same concerns, and we all want to protect one another and come together. So I thought this was a particularly good time to see it painted and completed,” Fortin added.

The rainbow sidewalk is unique as most communities opt for a rainbow crosswalk, but Fortin said the reason they went with the sidewalk was to avoid vandalism.

“It’s always a concern. I’ve seen in other communities where people did burnouts and things with their vehicles on the crosswalks. So hopefully, people will be understanding here and they won’t deface it or try to do anything. But if they do, we’ll just repaint it,” she said.

She added that the feedback from the community has been positive for the most part, but there are some in the community who aren’t pleased with the new sidewalk.

“I received a phone call and the comments weren’t very pleasant from that. It’s unfortunate that some people feel that way… I’d much rather see two people in love and caring for one another than hate.”

“And that’s why it’s so good to see that sidewalk painted. Because it isn’t a symbol of hate and it’s not just a symbol for one group of people, it’s about all of us and the way we treat others.”

Originally, Fortin said they had a ceremony planned to officially unveil the sidewalk in June in time for Pride Month but due to COVID-19 concerns, she said they are postponing festivities for a later date.

READ: ZipZone Peachland gearing up for May 16 opening

READ: Campfire ban ends for most Central Okanagan areas


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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