ROSES AND THORNS: Columbus Choral Society members sing during the Festival of Trees open house Thursday at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. Trees decorated for the holidays by local businesses and organizations will be on display throughout the library at 314 Seventh St. N. through December. Photo by: Chris McDill/Special to The Dispatch
December 8, 2018 10:33:21 PM
A rose to two spectacular Christmas events in Columbus last week, both of which were produced by Main Street Columbus.
Monday's Christmas Parade left many spectators and participants saying it was the best in years. Why was that? Some say it was the work of the sponsors and volunteers. Others point out to the quality of the floats that participated. Some gave a nod to the agreeable weather. No doubt, all those factors contributed, but the biggest factor of all was a spirit of fun and enthusiasm and an energy that accompanied this year's parade that seemed to set it apart from the parades of the last few years.
Friday evening, crowds filled downtown again for Wassail Fest. Downtown businesses opened their doors and served their own version of the hot Christmastime drink. Participants snaked their way from business to business, sampling the drink (which often tastes like a spiced combination of apple and cranberry juices) and voting on their favorite. This event consistently does a great job of bringing out students from the W and MSMS, as well as a big Air Base crowd.
The events were a great lift to the spirits as we approach the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Well done, everyone!
A rose of remembrance and appreciation to Danny Carlisle, known as "The Father of Starkville Baseball," who died Wednesday at age 65 of cancer. Carlisle spent 29 years as the baseball coach (and 30 years as a teacher) at Starkville High School, retiring in 2011 with a 571-252 record and three state championships. The wins and championships may someday be forgotten; Carlisle's warmth, humor and dedication to the game and the young men he coached will not. The Starkville native shaped the baseball career of hundreds of boys who played on his team, but the lessons he taught -- teamwork, determination, doing things the right way -- were tools that followed them throughout their adult lives. He will be missed.
A rose to East Mississippi Community College and Scott Alsobrooks, who was named last week as the school's new president. Alsobrooks comes to EMCC from Pearl River Community College, where he has served as vice president since 2011, but it was his background in industry that was particularly appealing to the EMCC Board of Trustees. Alsobrooks had previously worked as an operations engineer for Rockwell International at the Stennis Space Center in Picayune. He later served as a supervisor for the Fluid Component Processing Facility. In his new role, Alsobrook's experience in industry will be of critical importance as the $38-million Communiversity opens next fall. He certainly appears to be the logical choice to lead that effort. We wish him and EMCC all the best.
A rose to the Starkville Board of Aldermen who avoided the controversy it sparked last year by quietly approving a parade permit for Starkville Pride, an LGBT group which will hold its second annual parade in downtown Starkville on March 30.
Last year, the board initially rejected the group's permit request, sparking a lawsuit that was ultimately dropped when Mayor Lynn Spruill cast the deciding vote after a 3-3 deadlock to grant the permit. The inaugural parade drew thousands of participants and spectators and there were none of the incidents of lewd behavior or violence that some feared. It was, indeed, a celebration.
This year, the board voted 4-3 to grant the permit, avoiding the acrimony and legal fees incurred by the city last year. That three board members -- Ben Carver, Roy A. Perkins and Henry Vaughn -- still voted no -- suggests they do not understand the implications of their votes. But now that a clear precedent has been established future parades should not be preceded by a political circus. That's definitely progress.
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