A rose to our “Best of the Triangle” award winners, which are featured in a special section available in our print edition and our online eEdition, as well as all who voted in the contest. “Best of the Triangle” salutes businesses and service providers in 240 categories, which is pretty much everything under the sun. More than 16,000 votes were cast in the competition, and in addition to receiving our recognizable certificates, winners this year received window decals and large yellow banners, which can be seen throughout the Triangle. As you go through the section, the variety of quality of award winners and nominees is an indicator that we are blessed to have so many note-worthy businesses and services from which to choose. Congratulations to all who participated!
A rose to the organizers, volunteers, vendors and visitors for this year’s Market Street Festival, which has a somewhat soggy renewal after a challenging two year period. Although the weather was less than ideal, the 25th anniversary of the festival in downtown Columbus was finally celebrated Friday and Saturday. After COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 Market Street Festival and postponed this year’s event from its traditional spring date, it was important for this event for this event to resume, not just for Main Street Columbus, for which the event is its largest fund-raiser, but for the artists and craftsmen who rely so heavily on such festivals, the economic impact it brings and for the psyche of visitors, for whom Market Street Festival meant to return of a much-loved community event.
A rose to downtown developer Chris Chain for his quick response to a downtown business in its moment of need. Friday afternoon, a car crashed through the entrance of Friendly City Books on Fifth Street. Although neither the driver of the car nor the three employees who were in the store at the time of the crash were injured, the accident badly damaged the store and left store owner Emily Liner and her employees shaken. Chain, whose company had done renovations on the building before the bookstore opened, was on the scene with a crew of workers within 15 minutes, Liner said. Since it’s opening last November, Friendly City has been a much-needed presence and has been active in supporting community organizations and events. We expect the community will rally around the bookstore as a show of appreciation. We thank Chris Chain and his crew for their quick response in this situation.
A rose of appreciation to Vowell’s Marketplace, which announced this week its plans to close its Starkville location on Highway 12 by the end of October. Vowell’s opened at the location about seven years ago after long-time tenant Piggly Wiggly ended operations at the site. Although Vowell’s was here for a relatively short period of time, the store built a reputation as a good corporate citizen, especially during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic when it offered free lunches to kids after the schools closed abruptly in April 2020. Vowell’s consistently supported similar community efforts during its time here. We are saddened to learn they will be leaving our community, but thank them for being a great neighbor for the past seven years. We hope the next tenant on this prime piece of commercial property will live up to that example.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.