EDITORIAL: Tourism community

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Two big community events took place this weekend in Chickasaw County.

Okolona hosted the Battle of Okolona on the 150th Anniversary of this historic Civil War engagement. The Houston Community Theatre hosted “Hello, Dolly,” the ninth production for this local acting troupe.

Both events drew people to their respective communities and both events showed we have the talent and work ethic to pull off quality productions that cast our community in a favorable light. Both events put lots of people in restaurants, hotels and retail businesses around here.

The opening of the Tanglefoot Trail prompted a lot of people across this county to look around and catalog the number of community events we have.

There is the Flywheel Festival, Homecoming on the Square, Magnolia Festival, Cornbread Festival, Black-Eyed Pea Festival, the Christmas Lights in Woodland. And don’t forget the Sweet Potato Festival just across the county line in Vardaman.

Every community has Christmas Parades, spring flings, summer singings and reunions and lots of fall fun. We also play football, host baseball and softball tournaments and go inside in the winter to play basketball.

We have Davis Lake, the Natchez Trace, museums and dozens of historic markers. And have you ever seen anyone come to Chickasaw County to hunt or fish?

All of these events bring people to town. And all those people have money in their pockets.

When local chambers and foundations began talking tourism about two years ago, people snickered and scoffed at the idea of tourist walking our streets and shopping in our stores. Those with a sense of vision kept right on pushing and tourism has become a part of the thinking of smart merchants around here.

Every business and company in this community needs to join others in promoting our county and their respective town. In the tourism game getting people to work together prompts crowds to come to town and offers tourist more places to spend more dollars. The worn out economic phrase that “a rising tide lifts all boats” may not be true in every situation, but it works in the business of tourism.

It’s time every business made helping every business in our community grow, became a reality. Let’s get to work and do those things that bring tourism dollars to town.

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