This past weekend I found myself standing in a pair of blue jeans, a long sleeved shirt rolled up to the elbows, tennis shoes and a pair of sun glasses in one hundred degree heat. I kept thinking to myself, I really should take a look at that weather app on my phone before I venture into my closet in the morning. To top off the afternoon, I also happened to be shoving a high-end projector that weighs nearly seventy pounds up a hill in the rain, and I was smiling. I was smiling because all the volunteers around me were laughing and having a great time despite the heat and the weather. None of these external forces could stop the force of a good time on an El Dorado Saturday night!
This is what being a festival city is all about …
This past weekend was exactly the kind of weekend that makes me love this little town. You have got to hand it to the Mainstreet El Dorado board of directors and volunteers. Two large concerts and an outdoor theatrical performance in two days capped off with the annual Musicfest announcement in under 24 hours. Next up was an impromptu Step in the Name of Love event, bringing local citizens and police officers together on our county court house steps to dance together in the name of unity. This is what being a festival city is all about and I can’t wait for the next double up coming in mid-September when we will encapsulate our third annual El Dorado Film Festival, now spanning four days at the Stars Cinema with a performance by Amy Grant at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium.
It is organizations like Mainstreet El Dorado, the South Arkansas Arts Center, the South Arkansas Symphony and promoters like Mr. Mike and Jeremy Owens that put their passion into showing the entire region a good time. Great organizers with exceptional abilities to inspire not only their compatriots in the business of event planning, but the audiences that come and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
I’ve been lucky enough to work on events with a good deal of the organizations in this city on events through partnerships and by volunteering. As El Dorado Festivals & Events continues to progress towards the creation of the Arts & Entertainment District in the downtown area, I hope to expand that list of individuals and organizations that enjoy showing El Dorado a little something out of the ordinary. Because let’s face it, if there is one thing that we are not good at, it’s ordinary.
So, next time you find yourself enjoying one of our local concerts, festivals, events or pop-up dance offs, look to your left and right to find one of the many individuals that volunteered their time to make sure that you enjoyed yours. They might be standing in a pool of sweat, wondering why they wore jeans instead of shorts, but I promise that a “Thank You,” will immediately provide you with a toothy, sweaty grin in return.