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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hey Muskegon - Don't Look Now - But ..... Editorial Thoughts By Andy O

I'd like to take a moment and share a few thoughts this morning.

It's been the work of so many.  Many who have all said, "enough is enough" and got to work, and many who have said that same very thing and got out and did something.

I am talking about Muskegon and here's the backup.




I have been here since 1999 working and living.  We had great events, fairs, festivals..we had this that and the other thing.  That was then..and to say we had a bit of a slump...I guess that would be fair.  I have been an observer, participant and organizer in some of that past stuff...and yes, I think it's part of what I do to continue being all three of those.

I want to point out something tho.  I want to point out how slowly but surely we've turned the corner.  Last night was great proof of just that.

Will Smith Wins it in a Shootout
Walking out of a Muskegon Lumberjacks game, Downtown Muskegon was completely alive!  Buzzing!  The game was packed...the energy was unbelievable, the Jacks won in a dramatic shoot out.  As the crowd was spilling out, I looked both up and down the street. People everywhere!  They were are the bars, breweries, arena and hotels.  The Frauenthal had a play going....there was music fun and laughter.  We had a scene.  I'd like to add too, that the Lumberjacks are simply awesome this year.  We truly have NHL players on the ice every game here.  The perception of "high school hockey" is gone....we have a community treasure in this team and this ownership.

Now, that's great and all, but...what was once a taboo idea of having more than one event going on was shattered.  The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex was PACKED with people partying in their parkas!  Yes...the warm weather and lack of snow made elements of that party it stopped no one!  It was a great event.


Party in Your Parka 2017

My point is this...it's slowly and surly we're getting to the point where events are more sustainable.   Where we had "pocket events"....we now have a rolling option of different things to do.  We've got places like the Farmers Market where people gather to do WAY more than just shop for turnips.  We've got First Friday's , held on to Party in the Park, we have pro soccer, arena football, pro basketball....the list goes on and on. It all feels like a fresh and new beginning.




I have been preaching it for a while, but preaching is one thing and the boots on the ground is another.  Please take a moment to realize just what an awesome time we are in.  Appreciate the people who are making all this happen and finally, be proud of Muskegon.  We don't claim perfection and we don't claim to be the world hippest city....but we are a community of people who get it done!  The work of so many and the willingness of many more to be part of things...it's a community pulling together...pulling in the same direction....and pulling for a better future than we could ever imagine.

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