I realize that Sikeston's American Legion Cotton Carnival is now history but a couple of items need to be mentioned.
For starters, thanks go to the Legion members, Auxiliary and volunteers who staged yet another outstanding event.
From the fish sandwiches (always my favorite), to the midway, the parade, the cute kids and lovely young beauty contestants, this annual event is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of all of those involved.
The Cotton Carnival also becomes our homecoming with class reunions and former residents using this opportunity to revisit their hometown and share a host of memories.
And there are some aspects of the Cotton Carnival that go unnoticed yet say much about the event and those involved.
This year - as in past years - the Legion hosted nearly 500 residents at Sikeston nursing homes and other facilities for free food and entertainment.
Most people don't realize the amount of concern and charity that these volunteers offer to our community. But the faces on the nursing home residents say it all.
Like many others, I yearn for the Cotton Carnival to return to its rightful home in downtown Sikeston and perhaps some day that will become a reality.
But in many ways, the Cotton Carnival has outgrown the downtown area and it's hard to argue with the convenience and size afforded at the Rodeo ground location.
A very special thanks goes out to Scott County Sheriff Rick Walters for providing a clean-up crew following the parade.
In recent years, following complaints of massive trash remaining following the parade, the Sheriff has offered jail inmates to do the necessary job of removing the trash and eyesores.
Before I say anything else, let me question why people would throw their trash on the ground during this festive event. Seriously folks. What type of person would throw their trash on the street without any regard for the community?
Wait, I know what kind of people would do that. And you do too.
For those who are this asinine, try skipping the parade next year. The rest of us will enjoy the parade so much more and our community will be so much better without your presence.
But back to the Sheriff.
Following the clean-up on Saturday, there were complaints the job was done poorly. In fact, on Sunday morning it looked as if no one had raised a finger to clean the mess.
Sheriff Walters was not a happy camper, to put it mildly.
So Sunday afternoon, the inmates returned and the job was completed.
Kudos to the Sheriff and the "volunteer" labor.
Believe it or not, plans are already under way for next year's event. We can only hope the weather cooperates and the crowds continue to grow.
And I'm already anxious for another fish sandwich!