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Summer festivals: Tap into them

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Friday, July 26, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

We are in the midst of getting our usual summertime political lesson.

Each year, thousands of people come out to our festivals. It has happened already in Ford City, Worthington and Apollo, and it is about to happen in Kittanning (Fort Armstrong Folk Festival along the Allegheny River) and at the Dayton Fair in the eastern county.

Yet during the year, we seem collectively content to think of ourselves as living in an economic and cultural backwater to which no one would like to come.

The festivals prove the lie of it.

All of these summer events are examples of what the public's energy can accomplish. Volunteers turn out in grand numbers to realize these events. And citizens gather on the common grounds of their towns to enjoy the festivities and socialize.

Can this energy, leadership and organizational talent be harnessed?

Typically it falls to the voters, taxpayers and concerned citizens to press and find ways to encourage business growth in our downtowns and to promote area attractions such as our river and nearby trails. Our leaders should be doing more along these lines.

We know the public's energy is there. It's up to out leaders to put that energy to productive use.

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