Abigail Dawn, special contributor 

On a warm, rainy day in late September, locals gathered during the sidewalk sale, Knowlton Gone Wild. I came back to the place I grew up impressed by the groups of locals showing their support for the town. People shuffled between tents and shops and talked with friends they hadn’t seen for months. The ring of registers, the crinkling of shopping bags, and gentle giggles as people walking through puddles swarmed the main streets. “I was amazed to see how many people came even with the rain,” said Ghislaine Lebel, executive committee member of the Association des marchands de Knowlton. Throughout the years the Town of Brome Lake has become a popular spot in the Townships, hosting annual events for residents and tourists to gather. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic events that locals would look forward to all year didn’t happen. The Knowlton Gone Wild sidewalk sale is one of a few events that have started up in 2021, leading to a community that sees hope ahead for more events, gatherings, and a stronger future. 

“Our objective is to bring together and encourage exchange between the merchants of Brome Lake,” Lebel said. The Government of Quebec suggests that having good relationships with our neighbours and those around us will protect our mental health during the pandemic. The joy that beamed off locals’ smiles showed how much the event meant to them and their well-being.