Let’s all spruce up for Memorial Day

On Memorial Day weekend, a little over two weeks hence, Iola’s sesquicentennial celebration will be accentuated by a homecoming parade through downtown.
Many units representing local history as well as focusing on Iola today will step out Saturday, May 23, at 2 p.m. In the morning several events are scheduled at the water plant and after the parade Molly Trolley rides will be offered and Iola’s Municipal Band will perform. Thrive Allen County will have an all-day feed on the square.
Here’s something that will take a little work, but which is important as Iola strives to put its best foot forward in the celebration that is all about the city.
In many places around the downtown square grass is springing up from crevices in sidewalks, fed by the enormous amount of rain we’ve had.
City crews, perhaps backed by volunteer support, should spruce up walkways and streets before hundreds of visitors come to town for the festivities. Our infrastructure should be in as near-new condition as possible.
Property owners, downtown and elsewhere should do the same. It’s a good bet our merchants will be prepared with fully stocked shelves and appealing displays for a crowd that’s certain to keep cash registers ringing.
While we’re at it, we also should be certain to have all of Iola’s public parks and the Allen County Courthouse lawn manicured to the point they would pass inspection by the toughest of drill sergeants. That is particularly important at Iola and Highland cemeteries, where many will visit for observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 25.
We have precious few opportunities to show visitors, many of whom come to town infrequently and some of whom may never have been here before, that we are fond of our city. Who knows, some of those visitors may be looking for a new place to live or a site for a business or an industry.
Wouldn’t it be a shame if we missed out on a chance to better the community because someone was put off by renegade weeds?

— Bob Johnson