Welcome, one and all, to the 2017 Celebration!

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Posted 8/01/17 (Tue)

Whines & Roses
By Cecile Wehrman

I have always heard you should never start a performance with an apology. Hopefully, by the end of this week, no apologies will be necessary.
Sitting at my daughter’s wedding last weekend, it struck me that preparing for a major community celebration is not unlike preparing for a wedding.
In fact, both my daughter’s wedding and the 2017 Celebration had their genesis in the fall of 2015.
While that’s a long engagement, I don’t think you’ll ever have enough time to plan for an event involving a couple thousand people -- even though the historical society folks somehow pull it off every year.
I told Catrina when she got engaged she had enough time to plan three weddings. Indeed, the venue, dress and many other major details changed more than one time over that span.
In the case of the 2017 Celebration, not so much. The main events remained the same almost from day one.
We knew we would be highlighting the construction of several Crosby buildings turning 100 years old this year, including the Divide County Courthouse. We knew there would need to be a celebration of some kind directly involving the courthouse. It went without saying that there would be a street dance and other entertainment, along with food to line up. We figured there would need to be some souvenirs for people to take home. And from the get-go, we knew we wanted to see fireworks go off.
With the courthouse addition slated to be completed in June 2017, we figured there was enough leeway in case of construction delays.  It also appeared 18 months ago that any school construction would have been completed last summer, but that’s not how it turned out.
People have expressed to me how ironic it is that we’re holding a school reunion when the schools are closed. The irony is even greater now that the celebration is being held in honor of the courthouse, but it has to be closed to the public on Thursday and Friday because those were the only days a mover was available to help departments relocate to their new offices in the addition.
None of this is anyone’s fault beyond Murphy’s law.
Rather than focus on what we can’t do during the celebration, I’m excited for all of the wonderful improvements visitors will see -- especially those who haven’t been here since the 2004 Crosby Centennial.
In our special section in this week’s issue, you’ll find a list of many of those improvements, and it’s pretty astounding.
I have also believed from the beginning that the most important aspect of this celebration is to give people a reason to come together.
That, too, is a little like a wedding.
As I stood at the altar with my daughter being  photographed before her wedding last weekend, she was complaining that one aspect of the decor had not come together as she wanted.
I told her, “Everything else has come off without a hitch and looks absolutely beautiful. Don’t let one detail threaten your experience.”
Her retort: “Stop talking to me!” 
As any mother of a stressed-out bride can well imagine, she didn’t appreciate my words of wisdom just then. I believe there may even have been some eye rolling involved -- hers, not mine, I swear!
Now, as the hours tick down to the kickoff of the 2017 Celebration, I am keeping my own stress in check, reminding myself of the purpose of the event -- a chance to come together.
Logistics like tables, parking and porta-potties are important, to be sure. But there comes a point at which you just have to cross your fingers and hope it all goes as planned.
With the wedding weekend concluded, on Sunday, Catrina reflected that everything had gone without a hitch. She’d already more or less forgotten the one fly in her ointment that briefly stole her joy.
So, too, I hope the many visitors to the 2017 Celebration, 100 Years and Building, no matter any minor irritations due to crowds or logistics, come away glad they made the trip.