I am like most people in Marion County: excited for tonight’s festivities beginning with the Cruise-In, the parade, the lighting of downtown and Candlelight, Carols and Claus.
In this last month there have been a lot of activities, construction and preparation to make the start of the Christmas season spectacular.
There has also been a lot of something else: hard work and dedication. Men, women, employees and volunteers have been working countless hours to give us a delight more than most of us can imagine sprinkled with just enough anticipation that no one can wait to see now.
To the cynics who will say these workers are being paid good money and of the like, just hush now. No scrooges until the “A Christmas Carol” theme time.
I am going to digress for a moment; when the Wall that Heals was in town, between that and events happening most nights, I was working more than I was home. In fact my husband made the comment at church that Wednesday night when I was in town working, he felt like he needed to make an appointment to see me. He said it jokingly and he understood it was just a crazy week, but what he said made sense because I was getting home long enough to take a shower and go to bed every night that week. With that said, I am very proud of the papers we produced as a result of the week, but it took a lot of extra hours to achieve it.
Back to my point, there have been people from the low man on the totem pole to the highest who have been working day and night, for the rest of us to be able to enjoy the celebration tonight and the rest of the season. These people have not worked an ordinary eight hours then gone home for dinner with their families with a relaxing weekend off. They have been working from morning to night, missing dinners, family time and weekends to put together this memorable time.
Right outside the front door at The Columbian-Progress I have had a front row view of the building of the ice skating rinks. I have noticed the workers are already busy by the time I get to work and every night when I leave, whatever time that may be they are still working. I have been to evening meetings lasting late, and these workers are still hard at it. This past weekend, I with a couple others, volunteered some downtown and these same workers were still pounding away on a Saturday. There was an event a month ago on a Sunday evening, and there were workers downtown setting up for all of this.
These men and women have put in very long hours this past month to deliver a wonderful and special time for people near and far. While it is not about them as they would say, all of the workers being employees or volunteers, everyone who has put in hour after hour, day after day, more than 100 of them, I think it is important to acknowledge all of the hard work these people have put forth.
So tonight and the rest of this wonderful season while we are downtown enjoying the magic of everything, remember for all of this to be like it is, a lot of hours on the streets and behind the scenes have taken place and plenty of rest and family time has been sacrificed to allow all of us the opportunity to have a great time with our friends and family. Support all of their hard work by coming downtown and enjoying yourself with your family and friends. One of my favorite memories from last year was how people would just stand in the middle of the street and fellowship.
To everyone who has had a part in all of this, I thank you very much. I plan on being there as much as possible and take part in as many activities as I can. I hope you do, too.
Susan Amundson is managing editor of The Columbian-Progress. She may be reached at (601) 736-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.