While our Sauk Valley Media Editorial Board’s community “book read” of “Boomtown USA” by Jack Schultz is now nearly 5 years in the rearview mirror, we still think about some of the keys to success he proposes for rural communities.
One of the keys is simply to leverage your resources.
What resources do you have that you can use to a positive advantage?
Let’s look at how three big end-of-summer festivals this weekend measure up.
1) Sterling and Rock Falls both have a strong Hispanic heritage. For many years, that resource has been leveraged for Fiesta Days, and this year is no exception. The 65th annual Fiesta Days Parade will kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday in Rock Falls, and wend its way across the First Avenue Bridge and end at Grandon Civic Center in Sterling. Other activities are also planned.
2) Rural Franklin Grove’s Nachusa Grasslands has nearly 4,000 acres of tallgrass prairie, not to mention a growing herd of bison. Both resources are things that most people don’t get to see every day. At Saturday’s Autumn on the Prairie festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., people will get a chance to view these resources and also engage in other activities. Check it out at 8772 S. Lowden Road.
3) Morrison’s downtown has pavement galore. What better use to make of it than to clear the streets, divide the pavement into 5-foot-by-5-foot squares, and transform them into a creative playground for sidewalk artists? That’s what the 23rd annual Paint the Town festival plans to do from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. Entertainment and food vendors are among other activities.
It’s pretty clear to us that these festivals are good examples of communities leveraging their resources.
We wish the best of luck to the organizers of all three events.
And we leave it to the public to decide which one (or ones) to attend.