W here were you?
Well, a lot of folks were in Pine Bluff over the weekend, and if you missed the goings-on, you missed a good time.
There was so much stuff to do, it was actually hard to keep up.
There was the annual Tour de Bluff, which attracted dozens and gave bicycle riders a short or not-so-short tour of the landscape around Pine Bluff. Organizers have been putting this event on for almost 20 years, and it keeps growing. They'd like to see it expand because they are all about highlighting cycling, not just one day a year but every day of the year. They are also front and center when it comes to developing bicycle trails in southeast Arkansas because they see that as a way to invite tourism to the area.
This year was also the first year for something called Discover our Delta Celebration. If you've been keeping up, you know there is an effort afoot to capitalize on the rich heritage the Pine Bluff area has. A lot of people follow various "trails" across the country (think music, cultural, historical, etc.) and Pine Bluff has the makings for way more of those trails than the average town, according to the Advertising & Promotion Commission folks who sponsored the event.
As part of the celebration, 19 writers from the area were highlighted, including Paul Greenberg, the Pulitzer Prize winning editorial page editor of this newspaper.
As A&P Executive Director Sheri Storie put it, the event was a way to step toward the day when historic and cultural tourism here is a permanent reality.
"We are telling our story," she said. "We are promoting the area's rich history and culture and fostering community pride."
Another part of the delta celebration event was the music with Bobby Rush, who performed, of course, but who also fit well into the theme of celebrating what makes up the fabric of the area. He is part of that fabric, and to listen to him is to listen to history being retold.
One of the trails associated with Pine Bluff is its deep history of music. Who better to communicate that story than Rush, who told of how he put on a fake mustache and pulled his hat down low and got into a club on Third Avenue when he was just 15.
"I thank Pine Bluff for giving me the first stage I ever appeared on," Rush said, pointing out that now, at age 88, he's been on one stage or another for some 70 years. And he keeps performing like someone half his age.
So, yes, it was a busy weekend in the Bluff. And of course there were other things going on, but you get the drift. That's nothing new to residents, but for those out-of-towners, if you're looking for things to do, well, come on down! Chances are there's something interesting going on around here.