Communities having fun together may be a solution | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | July 10, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: July 6, 2016 at 10:51 am
Are community festivals making a comeback in Colleton County?
It appears so. The Johnsville Community held a community festival in May, and last weekend Islandton had a festival at the ballpark. And there’s a group in Walterboro that is trying to get regular community get-togethers going at the park on Gruber Street.
Community festivals and gatherings were a big event when Colleton was a rural county. Friends and neighbors got together on a regular basis to eat, visit and enjoy where they lived. In some ways, that was easier then. There was no competition from busy lives, television, the internet, cell phones, etc. But also consider our grandparents lived on farms, which required a minimum of 12-hour days on everyone’s part just to survive. But they still made time for friends and family.
Today, life is more hectic, less structured. And the tradition of neighbors gathering just to visit faded — and with it, that sense of family in our county.
How many visit their neighbors regularly? Know their names and/or the names of their neighbors’ children? Keep up with the lives of those who live around them?
Yes, times are different now. The rural way of life is gone for good. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the effort to be friends with those who live around us.
Every community doesn’t have to have a full-blown festival with parades and vendors and fireworks. How about just a gathering of neighbors in someone’s back yard? A chance to get to know the person who lives next door.
Perhaps — just maybe — these festival organizers are onto something that can truly improve our lives. It’s hard to shoot someone you know, a member of your family. Someone you just ate dinner with as a group of friends.
Perhaps if we could get that sense of family back in our neighborhoods, the attitudes of those living there just might change for the better.