March 31, 2009
It''s Pilgrimage time, which means visitors far and wide will descend on the Friendly City, filling up our bed-and-breakfasts and hotels and touring the city to see what we''re all about.
We''re happy to see Columbus step up to the challenge as it has for 69 years of hosting this event. We also appreciate the sacrifices by the homeowners who put their houses on the tour.
Beyond the homes and the hoop skirts, many other residents have seen the value in putting on a positive face for out-of-towners, evidenced in Clean Sweep Columbus last weekend and the volunteers who turned out in droves to put a shining face on our city.
Last night''s Blues around the Block at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center was a fitting kick-off to the festivities of the next few weeks. There locals and visitors alike mingled while they enjoyed catfish, live jazz and each other.
We would point out, however, that those not directly connected with the Pilgrimage, and even those locals who don''t even plan to attend any event can make a huge difference in visitors'' Columbus experience.
This is the Friendly City, and the city''s best interests are advanced by of us embracing and embodying the name.
Many of those coming to town for Pilgrimage events will be return visitors, but many will be first-timers. Their perception of Columbus will begin before ever setting foot in an antebellum home or historic church. It will be formed in the hotels, the restaurants, the gas stations and convenience stores, the fast-food places -- by anyone they meet while here.
A positive experience will bring them back, maybe for the Market Street Festival, or the weekend Farmer''s Market or the myriad other fests and events in Columbus over the course of the year.
So, Columbus, we ask you to put on your signature friendly face, pick up that errant piece of litter, and otherwise make our guests feel at home.
And to the visitors reading this: Welcome to Columbus. We''re glad you''re here.