The fun just never stops

Vacaville’s reputation as an any-excuse-for-a-party town is well on its way to recovery, despite a few years in the doldrums.

A recent headline in the newspaper said it all: “Ceremony set to celebrate overcrossings.”

The Onion Festival may be gone forever. And Fiesta Days is looking more than a little ragged around the edges, but Vacaville will always have its overcrossings. Now’s the time for each and every one of us to pay tribute to our big, lovable concrete pals who make it possible for us to cross busy Interstate 80 without getting chopped off at the knees by a Chevy Cavalier.

Admittedly, the celebration of overcrossings referred to in the headline applied only to the official dedication of the new and improved Nut Tree and Leisure Town Road overcrossings. These kind of events keep the mayor out of trouble and gives California Highway Patrol officers something to do instead of frittering their time away chasing inoffensive felons and uprighting the county’s daily harvest of overturned cars.

And that’s all well and good, as far as it goes. But celebrating Vacaville’s unique overcrossings could be so much more.

Think about it – when was the last time you actually walked up to your favorite overcrossing and said, “Thank you.”

Chances are, it’s been quite awhile.

Sad, isn’t it? But with a little community spirit, some funny hats and, perhaps, some lively tunes from North Bay Opera, we may soon be able to thank our overcrossings in a big way while becoming the envy of other Bay Area communities that have lots and lots of overcrossings but haven’t yet realized how important they are to a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, I’m talking about the community celebration that’s going to put us back on the map – “Vacaville Overcrossing Days.”

Sometime after the last sprinklings of pixie dust fall to the ground during Merriment on Main and Mayor Len Augustine tosses out the first jalapeno pepper of Fiesta Days, we can set aside a weekend to celebrate our outstanding overcrossings from Pena Adobe to Midway Road.

This will be the one weekend of the year when we can all get together and pause to recognize the importance of overcrossings while enjoying ourselves with exciting games and themed activities – cement-mixer derbies, 5-overpass runs and spirited center divider dachshund races (the CHP is sure to love the latter sport).

Wheeeeee!

And unlike some of the subjects of past community celebrations – the onion industry, for example – our overpasses are not likely to pack up and move to King City. Nor are they likely to be kidnapped by fun-loving but misguided celebrants.

C’mon, Vacaville, now’s the time to celebrate the best overcrossings anywhere. Pick a date, festoon your favorite cement truck with red, white and blue bunting and strap a keg of Budweiser on the back while you’re at it.

And if you don’t know how to drive a cement truck, fake it. Chances are, nobody’ll notice…

Originally published November 19, 2006