OUR VIEW: Chiefland Centennial: more than history

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Chiefland threw itself a birthday party and it was a doozey. Thank yous are in order, but where to begin? And the list is mighty long.   The prayer rally packed First Baptist Church of Chiefland which stepped up to hold the gathering after the weather terrorists promised ugly storms last Thursday. No storm, but it was a nice setting. 

The fish fry on Friday (that does have a nice sound, doesn't it?) fed a multitude of folks. Thank yous go out to Jimmy Ellzey, Adam Henderson, David Stone and Larry Hunt who proved they are pretty good fishermen. 

Thanks are also due to the fine crew from Central Florida Electric Co-op for fixing and serving that big ol' mess o' fish. Although we would like to have a fish scoop like the one used to pull the fillets out of the hot fat. 

On Saturday the volunteers were up at 5 a.m. and worked right through the day and into the night, cleaning up after the last person left the fireworks show. Folks had a really good time posting all their sparkly photos on Facebook and Twitter. There were so many posting that Chiefland threatened to become a Twitter trend. City employees, despite not feeling the love during the planning stages, thought up and pulled off this event. While the Chiefland City Commissioners did show up and participate in every event, it is the workers who deserve a pat on the back. Former City (now-Levy County) Building Official Bill Hammond has surely spent many nights sweating the details and the financing. But he has left his job with the city on a high note that may be hard to top. Deputy City Clerk Mary Ellzey worked equally hard and she organized details, right along with city finance officer Laurie Copelandand Police Chief Robert Douglas.

Local clubs, like the Chiefland and Suwannee Valley Rotary Clubs, participated, selling sponsorships, raising money and throwing big support behind the celebration. 

But what these folks all together pulled off is something not found in the schedule of events, in the photos and video interviews and cake tasting and turkey calling and crafts for sale and historic re-enactments. The Centennial Celebration gave everyone a sense of place and pride in Chiefland — not just for adults but to our youth.

We lose so many of our children to other places. This weekend, they got to see their history and to have a little fun.

Maybe they will find it reason to linger here and work, or come back from college and make Chiefland their home. Let's build on the good things about Chiefland and have fun doing it.