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Roses and thorns 3/27/11




A pre-emptive rose to everyone -- we''re talking to you, local folks -- who will take part in at least one of the many events surrounding the Columbus Pilgrimage this year. 


Opportunities abound for getting out and mingling with your neighbors -- and it isn''t just about old houses. Monday, Blues around the Block will feature shrimp and catfish po'' boys and great music, from 5-8 p.m. at the Tennessee Williams Home. Noon Tunes kicked off last Thursday, and continues this week. Other events include an art and jewelry sales, a 10K run, book signings, and the popular Grilling on the River barbecue fest. 


We have a fun-filled two weeks ahead of us in Columbus. Get out and fall in love with Columbus again at one of these events -- you''ll be glad you did. 


See today''s Lifestyles section for a calendar of events. 




A rose to Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science teacher Chuck Yarborough and his students, who bring historic figures to life each year during the Columbus Pilgrimage. Tales from the Crypt, one of the best-attended events during Pilgrimage each year, features students performing vignettes of historic figures buried in Columbus'' Friendship Cemetery. 


Yarborough''s students research the backgrounds of the figures, who have included everyone from slaves to Confederate generals, and write the monologues themselves. Tales will be performed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during Pilgrimage, March 28-April 8. 


If you''ve never been, make this the year you start. It''ll become a tradition. (Tours start at 7 p.m.; arrive no later than 9 p.m.) 




A rose to the volunteers who make Clean Sweep Columbus a success each year. Clean Sweep, organized by the Columbus Lowndes Development Link''s Young Professionals group, is set this year for April 16. Participants will gather at the Magnolia Bowl at 9 a.m. and fan out across the city, picking up trash and taking on other chores to help the city shine like the jewel that it is. 


Sadly, we have a litter problem -- too many of us carelessly toss trash in the streets. Even more of us fail to take the time to do anything about it. Clean Sweep is an opportunity for all of us to change that. Show up on April 16 and do your part to make Columbus a more livable city. 




A rose to Mayor Robert Smith, who hosts the popular Mayor''s Community Picnic each year. Timed to coincide with Pilgrimage, this year''s picnic will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Columbus Riverwalk. The picnic is one of those rare events that is able to bring together people from all backgrounds and walks of life together to catch up in a casual setting. Kudos to Smith for keeping the tradition alive. 




A rose to the Love & Learn Day Care in Crawford, which has the special distinction of rating among the best child-care centers in the state. 


The center, operated by director Joyce Lowery and assistant director Geraldine Farmer, received a four-star rating during assessment by the Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System, formulated at Mississippi State University. Only 14 out of 501 rated child-care centers in the state have gained the rating, according to MSU officials. 


MSU''s Extension Service associate Lucy Bryant conducted workshops and technical assistance for the center, giving it the tools it needed to achieve this rare success. 


The rating shows that quality child care can be found even in low-income areas.



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