Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Making the Rose City Blush

If the long-range weather forecast is close to accurate, those two new Welcome to Norwich signs, one where the exit from 395 North intersects with Route 82, and the other in front of the Backus Hospital near Washington and Lafayette Streets are going to get quite a workout this Friday evening and all day Saturday (and into the night).

Rose City Residents and friends from near and far we didn't know we had will be joining us for the return of Harbor Fireworks on Friday followed by the Rose Arts Festival at Chelsea Parade during the day on Saturday with the merry-making moving to the Harbor after six.

Both events and the Welcome signs for that matter are the latest indicators to me, often accused of being a Cheerleader for the City (which explains the saddle shoes and pom-poms in the hall closet), that the times they are a changing here in the Rose of New England, for the better and in a hurry. 

The expression goes "success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan," and in this case, it seems to me to be spot-on. It's not just one person or group responsible for adding pride in our stride as you walk around The Rose of New England but lots of different folks who stopped pointing fingers at why things don't get done and rolled up their sleeves to make their city better. 

Let's hear it for the efforts of "E Pluribus," on behalf of "unum," beginning with the City Council and Norwich Public Works who collaborated with Swaranjit Singh Khalsa on the Welcome signs, not forgetting the tireless fund-raising efforts of so many people in the same device who call themselves the Norwich Fireworks Committee, and Kelly August and a cast of what is becoming hundreds if not more for launching a comeback of the Rose Arts Festival.

Maybe it's the spring rains that are helping grow a greater sense of community here, though I will concede that many Norwich residents have been working quietly, perhaps a little too quietly at times, in recent months (and in some instances years) on projects ranging from neighborhood clean-ups, a Little Tardis Library (recommended by 4 out of 5 Doctors (Who)) through many community outreaches based in our houses of worship with many impacts and effects but, when viewed as a whole, are all saying "this is where I live and I want to make it better. Why not help?' 

That so many other of us have said 'yes,' through volunteering to be the difference, donating time, talent and treasure or just showing up at these events should tell those who are still wavering that now is the time to go all in.

Instead of waiting for someone to do something,' why not join with those who decided the best future for Norwich is the one we make for ourselves. Community is a contact sport and the more, the merrier. 

The fireworks start Friday night at nine and the Rose Arts Festival, complete with a 5 and 10 K road race, starts at Chelsea Parade Saturday morning at seven. We can sleep later in the summer. This weekend, we need to carpe the heck out of this diem. 
-bill kenny

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