Fireworks show is just part of downtown plan

Published 10:28pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In addition to celebrating Labor Day, it is our opinion the fireworks that will be launched over downtown Selma will signify something much more. Positive change.

For years, we have challenged Selma’s leadership to make the investments in Selma’s downtown to bring visitors, bring consumers and, in reality, bring money to Selma’s historic downtown area.

In recent weeks, the city has once again entered the hotel business by taking over the day-to-day operations of the Historic St. James. While we do not think this is a long term solution to the hotel’s operational challenges, the changes already made by volunteers and city staff have been tremendous and the Labor Day festivities are yet another way the city is making decisions aimed at downtown.

It is our hope visitors — and residents alike — will decide to book the St. James Labor Day night and enjoy the fireworks over the Alabama River from the balcony or courtyard. We can only imagine how gorgeous the show will be reflected in the waters of the Alabama River will be.

In conjunction with the St. James operational changes and the relocation of the fireworks show — thanks to some “small” bridge work near Memorial Stadium — the city council is also discussing ways to create an entertainment district downtown, creating rules, regulations for businesses to operate — and hopefully helping direct what businesses can call the heart of Selma home.

It is important for Selma’s future that the place that has forever played a role in Selma’s past and present — its downtown — be relevant and vibrant.

It continues to be crucial that those who are so lucky enough to own buildings within the downtown area continue to find ways to invest in their buildings; find ways to stabilize those that are deteriorating and sprucing up those in need of a little loving tender care.

As we get ready for the fireworks celebration downtown, we hope downtown businesses will find ways to capitalize on the expected increase in traffic; stay open late, offer specials or do whatever you can to promote your services and the diversity of businesses in downtown.

We can only hope what has been a damp and dreary few weeks gives way to gorgeous skies on Labor Day. The city of Selma, the Dallas County Commission and others have worked too hard — and paid a plenty — to organize this event.

Let’s hope it pays off for the businesses, for the guests and, in the end, the city of Selma.

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