Sometimes, you have to step up yourself

I hear many complaints about what is wrong with our local area, especially when it comes to the events available in our communities.

They wonder why this city or town can’t have something like that city or town. Or they ask why a particular event is no longer held.

Quite frankly, an event doesn’t happen because, while the ideas are out there, there seldom are the people willing to give of their time to put it together.

Take, for example, the festival held in Weirton around the Fourth of July. It had been organized by the Renaissance Weirton group for about a decade. At first, about a dozen or so people were involved, but, over the years, the group became smaller until only a couple of people were left.

This year, with about four or five volunteers, the group opted to try something different and put together Band Blast, a competition for local musical groups.

Perhaps this can be a new starting point for a rejuvenated holiday celebration, but it is going to take more than those four or five volunteers to do it.

Wellsburg has a large committee with around a dozen organizers who are able to focus on putting together several events over a series of days.

The same for Chester with its July 4 celebration and for Follansbee with its Community Days.

It can’t be done by a small group of people. It takes effort by many who are willing to give up some of their time for the betterment of their town.

Whether it is putting together the idea, scheduling, promoting, or some other task, someone needs to do it.

Do you want a festival along Main Street in Weirton? There are extra arrangements to make with the state Department of Highways to close off the roadway. The same with a parade.

Could we use some more activities for children as part of the festivities? Sure. But someone needs to be willing to step up and assist in planning them.

The performance by the Wheeling Symphony in Weirton on Thursday takes people to schedule the event, promote it, arrange for a performance location, arrange for sponsorships to cover the costs and so much more.

It’s similar with the Marland Heights 5K coming up in August. It takes organization from people.

I often hear people comparing today’s events with the old Weirton Food Festival.

I remember the festival. I remember the dozens and dozens of large tents, the stage, the food vendors and lots of entertainment during several days.

It was a great time. It, too, took many people giving up their time to put it all together.

These events often take months of planning, and we’re all busy these days.

I understand we might feel as if we don’t have that extra time to give, but even a little bit of effort can be a big help to putting an event together.

Nothing happens overnight.

If you really want to see your community have some great activities, sometimes it is going to take you stepping up and getting involved in order to make it happen.

Complaining won’t do it.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)