Plenty to show off to guestsPublished 9:35pm Thursday, February 28, 2013
After six months I think I can officially call myself a Selma resident. And as a Selma resident, I of course always get excited at the thought of more tourism coming to my hometown.
Several tourism directors from the Southeast converged right here in Selma Wednesday. As I met with each of them — who were from as far away as Columbia, S.C. and as close as Montgomery — I couldn’t help but think how neat it is that we’re a part of something so large.
Selma, as I have learned since moving here, was a key player in the civil rights movement. We share so much with our southern state neighbors and I believe we should highlight that feature.
At their meeting, these tourism directors discussed ways to create a cohesive “freedom trail” that would attract visitors to the southeast region. This trail would incorporate cities and towns that played major roles in the civil rights movement and thus made history. Selma, of course, would be a main stop on this proposed trail.
Ideas like this — bringing cities and states together — is a great one. If we could join forces with other historical cities in other states, the outcome could be great. We could create a network of highlighted cities in the civil rights movement and while doing so attract people from throughout the United States and the world to visit Selma.
In the process of getting people to visit Selma for its historical significance, we could also highlight what’s flourishing in our city today. Aside from monuments and history lessons, I believe Selma has a lot to offer.
Also, I’d be ignoring the elephant in the room if I didn’t express how excited I am for the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee. This, without a doubt, is one of Selma’s biggest weekends in terms of tourism. With people soon to be flooding Water Avenue all in pursuit of celebration, I believe we should embrace this time and let visitors know how great Selma was during the civil rights movement and is today.
Yes, we have deep roots in civil rights, but we also have new roots growing in other areas. The arts is just one area that comes to mind. We have so many great artists right here in Dallas County and I think their work is worthy of both state and national recognition.
So, as we welcome visitors to Selma with hospitality and graciousness, let’s remember to show them how great our city is and all the wonderful things it has to offer.