Sportsman’s Holiday return welcome

After a long year of living virtually, Sportsman’s Holiday should be a true celebration this year, and for some of us it will be a lot more than just a general appreciation of community, logging skills, and the enjoyment of the parade and fireworks.

This year we’re celebrating: freedom from masks, to really interact socially, to sit side-by-side on the sidewalk and watch that parade go by – freedom to do it all without that feeling of judging eyes and paranoia that has dogged our society for the past 18 months.

Gov. Brown’s signing of the executive order to eliminate that county risk level framework on June 25, canceling most remaining COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, has proved about as good timing as we in Sweet Home could ask for.

But it’s commendable that organizers of local events had decided to push forward even before the governor’s announcement, to go for it and try to put on normal-as-possible Sportsman’s Holiday and Oregon Jamboree events.

Other communities are not where Sweet Home is right now in the move to get back to normal, for various reasons, and local residents should appreciate that.

This weekend we’re looking at a pretty full-blown schedule of events, which you can read about in this edition. We have five young ladies who have been chosen to represent our communities to others in this area, as those opportunities arise, and one will be crowned queen of the Sportsman’s Holiday festival this Thursday evening.

Of course, there’s still risk of COVID. People we know in Sweet Home have come down with the virus in recent weeks. At last count, the Sweet Home zip code has had 506 reported cases.

But, frankly, it is time to move on. There’s no question that the mandates we’ve been living under have taken a very significant toll on our lives that don’t involve flu symptoms. We’ve had plenty of opportunity to take whatever steps we deem necessary to ensure our health, and it’s time for some normality.

And that’s what Sportsman’s Holiday brings. Enjoy it. Enjoy some community that doesn’t involve a TV or Zoom screen.