A performance by the Wild West Riders kick off rodeo action Friday, July 1st. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A performance by the Wild West Riders kick off rodeo action Friday, July 1st. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

EDITORIAL: Thanks to all who helped

Where to start about the weekend.

In one way, our communities came together in droves to celebrate the return of the Williams Lake Stampede rodeo, parade and street party, Thunder Mountain Stampede racing and Stampede rugby.

It was wonderful. Even the weather cooperated, allowing residents and guests to fully appreciate all the efforts that hundreds of volunteers gave to make the return of these popular events possible after a two-year hiatus.

That is why it is so unfortunate there was violence Sunday afternoon in the trade fair area behind the grandstand.

Inside the grandstand, more than 4,000 people were about to watch the final ride in the Bull Riders Canada event, when they become aware someone had been shot.

Our hearts go out to the people who witnessed the shooting, especially small children who should never have to see something like that.

We hope anyone who is feeling traumatized has the supports they need to heal from the trauma.

We also want to thank the Stampede directors, volunteers, RCMP, medics and general public who pulled together in an emergency situation to ensure everyone was being taken care of.

Violent crime is not rare in the Williams Lake area, but seeing it in a public area is.

The fact a suspect was arrested within moments of the shooting is a good step, as is the fact that no one died. It could have been so much worse.

Now is the time to support one another and move forward together in a positive way, as we did during wonderful performances at the 94th Annual Williams Lake Stampede.

In the weeks and months to follow we also need to throw our support behind our leaders in making Williams Lake a safe place for our children.

Williams Lake