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8/6 OP-ED editorial (summerfest)

ometimes there's a need to tamper with success.

When it comes to the Dallas Summerfest, there have been continual changes over the years -- the decades, even the generations.

In many respects the 2003 version of Summerfest may have been the best ever. The mid-summer event in Dallas fills a number of valuable roles for the community:

♦ It provides a time for local people to gather and enjoy the bonds that go with living in a small town.

♦ It provides a time for all who have lived in Dallas to return-knowing they will see many faces they have missed since leaving.

♦ It provides a time celebrate the heritage of the community. This year it was the 125th anniversary of one of the nation's finest volunteer fire departments.

Summerfest is a celebration of appropriate scale for Dallas. It is a celebration that is fully people-oriented. There is no rodeo, circus or carnival. It is a time for people to enjoy the company of each other.

The matter of scale is important. The Summerfest parade, as can be seen in last week's I-O fills the streets. It is a short parade in terms of route but it is long in terms of entries. This makes it a parade in which young and old alike can participate. If there were a lot more people watching the route might have to be lengthened to accommodate them.

Dallas Rotary's Breakfast in the Park enjoyed a 35 percent increase in breakfasts served this year. Along with that the Tom Newton Car Show attracted a record number of entries from all around-289 vehicles to be precise.

In short, Summerfest has found its place, Dallas, and its time, the last weekend of July. While there are many events in surrounding communities at the same time, the Summerfest is succeeding because its fundamental purposes are being fulfilled by the efforts of dozens if not hundreds of volunteers from all walks of the community.

The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce is to be commended for all that it has accomplished. Building on the July tradition is good.

As the Chamber leaders consider a different weekend for future events, we offer a word of caution. Summerfest is an event in which "tampering" should continue to take the form of "fine tuning." It is fulfillng its multiple purposes in fine fashion.


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