October in the Ozarks, including the Autumn Arts and Crafts Festival on Oct. 8 in Rolla is just around the corner, but there’s still a lot going on this month that you won’t want to miss.
Today, Sept. 24 the 2nd annual Celebration of Nations will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the downtown festival park. The event starts with the Parade of Nations (over 80 countries represented) at the Havener Center on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus at 11 a.m. The parade winds through downtown Rolla, and concludes on 9th Street at the downtown festival lot and bandshell where parade goers will be recognized. After the parade, an international festival will be held that includes a variety authentic crafts and international foods from around the world, calligraphy, face painting, children’s activities, a petting zoo, inflatable games, horse rides, a mock Eifel tower, a authentic tent from Saudi Arabia, complete with sand, camels, dates, and tea served by Missouri S&T students. Children will be given passports they can have stamped by international students who are hosting booths that reflect the cultures and customs of their native countries. International Idol, which includes a wide spectrum of performances representing an international flair much like American Idol, is also a highlight of the festival.
Another important event that you will want to mark on your calendars will be the dedication ceremony of “Gene Sally Parkway” that will pay tribute to former Missouri State Senator and State Representative Gene Sally who was a prominent Rolla real estate developer, and community leader largely responsible for the construction and funding of the 10th Street Bridge in Rolla, the purchase of Rolla National Airport for $1, construction of Rolla Technical Institute, the Forum Shopping Center, Forum Hills subdivision, and Oak Meadow Country Club, among others.
The dedication ceremony and reception will be held on Friday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. There will be a formal ceremony outside the lobby of City Hall in the court yard, followed by a ribbon cutting/dedication ceremony, and then a reception on the 3rd Floor of City Hall.
Please also start getting ready for the City-wide clean up, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1. If you wish to participate, please place all items near the curb by 6 a.m. Examples of items that will be accepted are furniture, microwaves, televisions, old clothes, and normal household trash. Items that will not be accepted are appliances, water heaters, yard waste, tires, or construction debris such as sheet rock, shingles, concrete or rock. Loose items should be placed in boxes or bags and small pieces of lumber should be bundled. We ask that you do not place rollout trash containers at the curb because during this special fall clean-up they will not be emptied. For more information, please call 364-6693.
Looking ahead toward the month of November the Rolla community and surrounding communities are in for a real treat as the Smithsonian Exhibit “The Way We Work” makes a historic stop at The Centre (1200 N. Holloway St.) from Nov. 17 through Dec. 19. Plans are underway for some very exciting guest speakers to be part of this month-long event at The Centre, and I will keep you abreast of all the happenings associated with this unique and educational exhibit that was made possible through the Smithsonian Institution and the Missouri Humanities Council Museum on Main Street Program. Visitors will be free to travel through the exhibit on their own or with a guide, and guides will help visitors personally connect to the exhibit through conversations and observations on the exhibit themes. The Way We Worked will begin in Ste. Genevieve at The Bolduc House Museum from Oct. 8 - Nov. 5, 2011 and will continue the tour in Rolla from Nov. 19 - Dec. 17.
In closing I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Councilwoman Sue Eudaly who was unanimously appointed by the Rolla City Council (Ward 3) to fill the unexpired term of former Councilman Geoffrey Horning. Councilwoman Eudaly, who is a highly respected teacher in the Rolla Public School system, and a very active member of the community, previously served on the Rolla City Council for eight years (1996-2000 and 2006-2001). Former Council member Horning, who served on the City Council from April 2010 to September 2011, was recognized for his service at the Sept. 6 Council meeting. Geoff announced at a prior Council meeting that he plans to relocate to Saudi Arabia to teach EMS and Emergency Response classes at Al-Ghad College.
I would also be remiss not to thank the many students from Sigma Phi Epsilon at Missouri S&T and members of First United Methodist Church of Rolla who generously participated in a volunteer clean up and spruce up around the grounds at The Centre, the Ber Juan Sportsplex and Ber Juan Park. They did a great job weeding and removing dead brush and vegetation from the expansive flower beds along the nature trail next to the entrance of The Centre, and even gave the concession stand building at the Ber Juan Sportsplex a fresh coat of paint. We certainly appreciate all of your hard work and efforts.
Have a safe week, and I hope to see many of you at the Celebration of Nations event today in downtown Rolla.