I think anyone who was in downtown Webster City Wednesday afternoon and evening were amazed by the sights. Two-thousand people - that's the estimate - turned out for the RVTV Cy-Hawk celebration. Cardinal red, gold and black stretched as far as the eye could see.
I felt a swell of pride for my community and all of the people who planned this event. There were games, food booths, friendly competitions between the Cyclone and Hawkeye fans. Music got the young people up and dancing in the First American Bank Plaza and there was some pretty terrific chili served by local chefs.
The sportscasters from WHO seemed impressed with the activities that were planned and with number of people who came. Keith Murphy mentioned in one of his broadcasts that the crowd on Wednesday night in Webster City was the largest they had seen at one of the RVTV stops. That says a lot for our community. Perhaps the best part was that the crowd, though enthusiastic and cheering, was very well-behaved. Kids, parents, grandparents and everyone else seemed to equally enjoy the activities.
I felt rather euphoric this morning as thought about the celebration. This marks the fourth big downtown event this summer. The Summer Nights program also brought out lots of residents for food, fun and movies. And at each event, the numbers attending seemed to grow and a grow. The celebrations felt rather like a big block party with all of your neighbors gathered around.
Of course, there will always be naysayers. There will always be those who point out the negative or the downside to everything. One fellow I spoke with Thursday was a bit reticent to share my enthusiasm about Wednesday night's fun. I tried to cajole him into agreeing with me, but he just wouldn't have it. In fact, he didn't have many positive things to say about Webster City.
I guess it's all about your perspective. You can choose to look at the negative or you can be a cheerleader for your community. I'm not trying to be a Pollyanna - I realize it's been a difficult few years for Webster City with the loss of businesses and jobs. I understand it won't be a rapid turnaround of fortunes, but we have to look forward and not backwards. We have show people that promoting Webster City is worth the effort.
The celebration Wednesday night brought statewide attention to our community. People were able to see the beautiful trails, the iconic Doodlebug scooters that were manufactured here years ago, the lakeside Legacy cabin at Briggs Woods, the active business community and dedicated volunteers working downtown.
And best of all, that celebration showcased the people of Webster City. We may not always agree about which team is the best or will win the big game, but most of us agree that this community is a great place to live.
If it wasn't, I wouldn't have been here for 30 years.