ave you driven down Visalia’s Main Street recently? If so, then you have seen the amazing transformation of dining downtown. From newly constructed decks to pop-up tents with misters and twinkle lights, tables have moved from indoors to out, and chairs are filled with people there to either enjoy a great meal or perhaps to simply support their favorite establishment. The coronavirus pandemic has created an incredibly difficult, if not impossible, environment for restaurants. What’s amazing to me is the adaptability of our governmental agencies, our restaurateurs and our community. To be honest, I was not convinced that it would work.
Often, we are creatures of habit and having to make a paradigm shift — from comfortable seating in an air-conditioned building to a folding chair, on a hot pavement, in a plastic enclosure, in 100-plus-degree weather — did not sound like a successful plan to me. I was wrong and, in this case, am so glad to be so. We should all recognize that this is not a replacement for normal revenue-generating operations, but the willingness to hang on to the best of their ability has been a beautiful thing to witness. Visit page 22 for more details.
Watching this story evolve and unfold reminds me of another recent example of resiliency and survival — the 2,000-year-old redwoods in Northern California’s Big Basin State Park. Just weeks ago, devastating fires tore through California’s oldest state park, destroying most everything in its path, and many thought that the redwoods would be among the loss. Not so. While almost everything else succumbed to the intense flames, the ancient trees hung on and, while perhaps scorched and scarred, they live to see another day. I just love that.
Inside this issue, you will find all of the great features that you have come to expect, such as a fabulous home tour, delicious epicure dishes, travel and arts articles and, although pared down, we are very happy to have the return of our Happenings section. It might not be as many pages, but we are so encouraged by our nonprofits that have also learned to adapt critical fundraisers from once what were large gatherings to socially distanced or virtual events. Please turn to page 39 and find out who is doing what.
Let us all be a part of someone’s survival story as we continue to support our local restaurants and businesses so they know that we believe in them, we know that they are strong and resilient and, although we cannot promise that it will be without pain and a few scars, they will survive.
May September be the best month of the year so far, and we will see you again in October.