April 4, 2012 10:35:56 AM
If, on this past Saturday afternoon, you had hiked to the Riverwalk to enjoy what was a glorious spring day, you might have been at first surprised by the number of people who seemed to have the same idea.
Then you would have remembered that this was the day for the Mayor's Unity Picnic, and you might have joined in with the 1,500 or so people enjoying the music, free catfish and fellowship.
Started five years ago by Mayor Robert Smith and Greg Lewis of the Columbus-Lowndes Recreational Authority, the Unity Picnic is, just as the name implies, an opportunity for the community to come together simply for the purpose of being together.
Each year the event has grown, and we were happy to see the diverse crowd on hand Saturday swaying to the sounds of the Columbus High Jazz Band and Johnny Coleman's Swing Shift. We've always maintained the obvious about such gatherings: Events that bring people together are a good thing and events that bring them downtown are even better.
It's important to remember we are a single community and as such have a common objective: to see Columbus and Lowndes County flourish and become a safe, nurturing place to live.
We thank the mayor, Lewis and the dozens of behind-the-scenes volunteers who made the Unity Picnic happen this year.
And while we're on the subject of community, we want to commend Amanda Mackay and her mother, Susan, who intend to landscape a detention pond on Lawrence Drive in East Columbus as a tribute to their father and husband, the late Doug Mackay.
"This pond was near and dear to my father's heart," Amanda Mackay said. "It was one of the last things he wanted to do before he died. I just want to see it completed. I've lived in Ward 2 almost all of my life. We just want the people in the neighborhood to have something they can be proud of."
The pond, meant to alleviate flooding, was one of former City Councilman Doug Mackay's pet projects.
We encourage everyone to continually find ways to improve community, even if it is something as simple as picking up a scrap of paper on the sidewalk.
It is, after all, your community.