Lend a hand … or more

Published 3:33 am Thursday, October 9, 2008

By Staff
Does the high cost of gasoline (or diesel fuel) and a shaky economy have you traveling less and staying close to home these days?
It is a good bet that is the case this fall. That does not mean going without entertainment and excitement.
Once again, Music in the Streets and Smoke on the Water are on the schedule for the fourth weekend in October in Washington. As part of Music in the Streets on Oct. 24, the Parade of Pigs (not real pigs, mind you, but pig-related are) will make its way down Main Street that night. The following day, Smoke on the Water offers its barbecue contest (whole pigs), chili contest and the finale of Beaufort County Idol.
If that is not enough, a Halloween-themed show will be part of this year’s Music in the Streets/Smoke on the Water weekend in Washington.
Don’t forget the Beaufort County Arts Council’s annual fine-arts show will be kicking off that weekend.
Who should be thanked for making these events and related activities available to the public? Once again, it’s the same small group of dedicated people. It’s folks like Gary Tomasulo, president of the Historic Downtown Washington Merchants Association, who plan and organize such events. It’s folks like Clayborne, who’s coordinator of the Beaufort County Idol program. It’s folks like Joe Sizemore, Stuart Aronson and Patch Clark, who have served as judges for the Beaufort County Idol contests and will judge the finale, except for Clark who has another engagement. She’s involved with the production of “The Jungle Book” that Saturday at the Turnage Theater.
Folks like Peter and Toni Oser, responsible for securing judges for Smoke on the Water, deserve the community’s thanks. Peter Oser has served as one of the judges at several previous Smoke on the Water events. Folks like downtown business owners Dawn Benthall, Bob Martin and others who provide much behind-the-scenes assistance that allows the festival weekend to be possible and flourish.
Folks like Joey Toler, executive director of the Beaufort County Arts Council, not only helps organize the arts show, he also serves as music coordinator for Music in the Streets.
Those people will be busy during the next several weeks making final preparations for that last full weekend in October. From early on the morning of Oct. 24 until late into the evening of Oct. 25, they will be working around the clock to make sure the weekend’s activities come off without any problems, or as few problems as possible.
As wonderful as it is to see those faces at the events they organize and plan, it would be just as wonderful to see some new faces at those events. This plea has been made before. It is going to be made again until someone heeds it.
To borrow some words from a previous editorial on the matter, it is time some new blood — not to mention legs, arms, backs and hands — to provide some assistance when it comes to planning the next generations of Summer Festival, Fourth of July celebrations, Pickin’ on the Pamlico, Music in the Streets, Eastern North Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships and Smoke on the Water.
Yes, getting involved means lots of hard work. There is no monetary reward.
Perhaps the only reward will be nothing more than seeing smiles on the many faces who attend such events. Often, that is reward enough.
Just ask Gary Tomasulo, Joey Toler and Patch Clark.