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Thumbs up; thumbs down, June 5

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Brass Band traffic

Here’s an understatement: No one likes traffic jams.

In fact, pretty much everyone hates traffic jams with a passion. And with good reason — they are unpleasant, unexpected and often unexplained phenomena that bring out the worst in many of us.

But when it comes to the bad traffic that accompanies the Great American Brass Band Festival every year, that’s one traffic jam we should all be (reasonably) happy about.

By bringing tens of thousands of people to downtown Danville and the surrounding area, the festival also brings a big economic boost, usually in the millions of dollars, to the local economy. That’s millions of dollars helping keep local businesses open and local workers employed.

Everyone enjoys a good opportunity to complain about traffic, and the festival always provides plenty of opportunities for that. We’re not saying don’t complain about traffic — where would the fun be in that? The stories you get to tell about the jerk who cut you off or the number of minutes you spent creeping along a single block is your reward for having suffered through it.

But while you’re swapping driving-during-GABBF war stories, just remember you and everyone else around here are probably better off with the traffic than without it.

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Pioneer Playhouse

This Friday, Pioneer Playhouse kicks off its 69th season of outdoor theater with “The Return of Tinker Doyle,” a play by award-winning local playwright Elizabeth Orndorff.

We are lucky in Danville and Boyle County to have the playhouse, as well as the excellent West T. Hill Community Theatre. Both enterprises provide thoroughly enjoyable, high-quality productions you wouldn’t normally expect to have access to in a small-town, mostly rural setting like Boyle County. They are undoubtedly part of what makes this area a great place to live.

Pioneer Playhouse was indeed a pioneer of outdoor theater. Now, practically a lifetime later, it’s still going, offering old-school entertainment and southern hospitality that’s refreshing in a world of smartphones, big screens and disappearing social interaction.

If you haven’t been to a Playhouse show, you should give it a try this summer. If you have been before, consider this your reminder that the summer season is here.

The rich theater community we have isn’t here just because there are people who like to act; it’s here because there are people who support it. Without theatergoers, there would be no theater, and a world without theater is a substantially less fun, entertaining and friendly world.