Looking for a date? Try these

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grab your schedule book. Pull out your calendar. Sharpen your pencil or make certain your pen is full of ink. We've got some planning to do.

Much is about to happen in Butler County. If you don't organize your time, line up an occasional baby sitter, circle specific dates or simply increase your awareness, you may miss the benefits of living in Small town, America.

Though not intended to be totally inclusive, here are some suggestions.

Approximately 3,600 public schools students will report to their respective classes in Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie Thursday, signaling the start of a new year that holds great promise of increasing grade scores and performance. Greenville High students learn, too, the criteria for gaining eligibility to win a Chevy Cobalt.

Amanda Phillips and YMCA supporters hope a large turnout will brave recent scorching temperatures Friday and Saturday to take part in the 25th anniversary of the Watermelon Jubilee. Top crafters and juicy watermelon are the Friday headliners, giving way to popular singer Marty Raybon's Saturday night concert.

Proceeds are earmarked for the Partners With Youth Campaign, a program that helps make Y services and activities available to everyone.

A health and wellness seminar on allergies is scheduled by L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital Aug. 15 in its cafeteria.

Close to 600 students are expected at Fort Dale Academy's first day of school Aug. 16. Seniors are putting final, colorful touches on the school's parking lot in anticipation of that opening day.

The annual Coaches Corner, hosted by the Kiwanis Club, is set for 11:30 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club Aug. 21 with all area coaches expected to share football visions and playoff outlooks for the coming season.

That season officially begins Aug. 24 when Speed Sampley's Fort Dale Eagles host Edgewood Academy, looking to repeat or even improve on last year's successful record. Less than a week later, Aug. 30, the Battle of Butler County will match Greenville and Georgiana in Tiger Stadium, launching the head coaching career of Ben Blackmon.

McKenzie hosts J.U. Blackshier the same night.

YMCA soccer players, age 3-13, and Peewee football players, age 6-12, all begin play Sept. 1.

That's the same day Alabama hosts Western Carolina, Auburn entertains Kansas State and Troy travels to Arkansas in college football openers, followed of course, by the celebration of Labor Day Sept. 3.

Close to $5,000 in scholarships will be presented to contestants in the Junior Miss Scholarship Program. That's set for Sept. 8 at The Ritz.

The L.B. Wallace Community College's second Camellia City Classic will likely attract a large crowd at Cambrian Ridge Sept. 12 with proceeds from the annual golf tournament boosting scholarships for students at the Greenville campus.

And the Butler County Fair, the annual project for Kiwanis here, promises another terrific week of displays, exhibits and rides Sept. 25-29.

The Robert Trent Jones here will be part of a unique statewide scramble tournament, joining all other courses on the Alabama Trail in supporting the outreach program of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Oct. 1 is the date for that one and a host of former sports heroes will be involved.

Another set of heroes — Hank's Honky Talk Heroes - will launch the Greenville Area Arts Council's 26th season at The Ritz Oct. 2 with the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band coming to that same stage Oct. 16.

Safe Harbor's Taste of Greenville promises to be a treat Oct. 4 at The Chef's Table.

Mark Nov. 1 on your list as the date for the ever-popular Low Country Boil, sponsored by the chamber of commerce at the fairgrounds and remember the annual Sweet Potato Festival, sponsored by the Optimists, is on tap Nov. 3 also at the fairgrounds.

Thanksgiving Day is Nov. 22 and less than a week later, Camellia Girls and Chamber Pages begin their Christmas package wrapping service. Dates for that are Nov. 26-Dec. 19.

Plans to move the annual community Christmas parade back to Thursday are in the preliminary stages. If that happens, circle Dec. 6 as the tentative date. Otherwise, it may be Saturday, Dec. 8.

Christmas Day is on a Tuesday.

New Year's Day is, too, of course, and then we'll simply start over.

Got all that? Save room for the Oldtime Farm Days, the annual Blues Festival, the comprehensive planning open house and the annual United Fund campaign. Those dates are likely set, just unknown at the moment.

And who says there is never anything to do in a small town?

Chances are there will be changes, additions and deletions along the way and no doubt by the time you add school events, church and business dates, weddings and birthdays, reunions and get-togethers, vacations and other special occasions as well, your calendar book is full.

Hope today's list, however, provides a good start and that you'll see many of your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers wherever you go.

Ed Darling is president and publisher of Greenville Newspapers LLC. You can contact him at 382-3111 or ed.darling@greenvilleadvocate.com. Read his previous columns at www.greenvilleadvocate.com.