The 34th Annual Decatur Celebration is coming up Aug. 1-4 and our community has a lot to celebrate! As I travel around the community, I see so much going on in our city that speaks to an extremely bright future…thanks to the efforts of so many people who love this city and work hard to move us forward.
The Decatur Celebration continues to survive because of that “can do” spirit which finds a way to do the seemingly impossible. I was downtown for the very first Decatur Celebration and have been downtown for every celebration since. One of the great thrills for me during the years I served as mayor was standing on the stage next to the Decatur Civic Center, seeing the massive number of Celebration goers stretching from the stage all the way down Franklin Street, and officially starting the Celebration by saying “Let the Celebration begin”. I’m sure the event would have started even if I had not said the “official” words, but it really was one of the “fun” aspects of being mayor.
It was also a lot of fun to sit on the back of a convertible each year for the Razzle Dazzle Good Times Parade that travels north on Franklin St., turns west on North Street and then turns again on Main Street and heads back south through downtown. The parade goers were always in a happy mood. I’m sure our present mayor, Julie Moore Wolfe, also gets a kick out of officially starting the Celebration and riding in the parade.
I’m really not one to try much in the way of new food at the Celebration. I have my favorites which I enjoy each year, including chicken-on-a-stick and rice, Vinnie’s Bar-B-Q, elephant ears and funnel cakes. (Not all at the same time, of course.) Just call me a “traditional” Decatur Celebration eater. I have printed the entertainment schedule for this year’s Decatur Celebration on page 15 of our print edition. Happy celebrating!!!
• SIGNS OF THE TIME — As I’m driving in Decatur I see signs from individuals, businesses, yard sales, candidates for public office (during election seasons), etc., on public property. I assume those placing the signs at such locations don’t know that they are illegal — or don’t care.
Last week, the City of Decatur issued a reminder about private signs on public rights of way: “In a continuing effort to keep the right of way areas of the City clear, the City of Decatur is reminding sign owners that privately owned signs are not permitted on the public rights of way. “City personnel will remove any unauthorized signs from the right of way when they are encountered. “Signs that are removed will be stored at the Municipal Services Center at 2600 North Jasper Street, for 14 days before they are discarded. Questions can be directed to the Public Works Department at 424-2747.
“There are City regulations that govern the placement of signs located on private property. If there are questions regarding allowable signs on private property or outside the public rights-of-way, contact Scott Dedert, Senior Planner, at (217) 424-2786 or email@example.com.”
• WHILE I’m on the subject of signs, I really like the “new” sign in front of the Decatur Police Depart-ment on South Side Drive. The previous sign was damaged but the replacement is very colorful and much nicer. It’s been up for awhile. I drive by the Decatur Police Department on my way to the newspaper each day and I always take note of the sign and have a positive reaction. Every time I drive by I think I’m going to mention it in this column. Today, I finally remembered. Drive by and see the sign for yourself, if you haven’t seen it already. It does look sharp.