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The Independence Downtown Association hosted the very first Home-Based Business Fair on Friday at the Independence Elks Lodge — and it was a great opportunity to meet and greet folks in MI Town and nearby areas who have put their creative and inventive ideas to very good use. Marilyn Morton and Rod Killen organized this event to help showcase and acknowledge the many home-based entrepreneurs and small businesses in our area. It was a good occasion for other businesses to learn about financial resources, accounting, as well as public relations and to share ideas with others. Many of us are already looking forward to next year’s event.

Last Saturday afternoon, Discover MI Town was sponsored by the Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, in coordination with local shops, restaurants and other businesses. Free shuttle buses transported people between our communities as everyone enjoyed food and beverages and all kinds of fun and interesting shopping experiences without needing to drive to malls or hassle with parking places. Many merchants provided free goodies and treats, and this was a good opportunity to share all the good things about our communities with friends and family members visiting from out of town.

Memorial Day is Monday, when we honor those men and women who have given their lives serving our country in the Armed Forces. The first official Memorial Day was celebrated May 30, 1868, when John Logan, commander of Allied Forces of the Grand Army of the Republic, placed flowers on graves at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Memorial Day has also been called decoration day, when families leave floral tributes at the graves of family members who have passed away.

Many of us will celebrate Memorial Day with the long 3-day weekend, which gives us time to travel to the beach, the mountains and to family gatherings near and far. Let’s all enjoy the fun, great trips and good food, but be mindful of those necessary items like bug spray, sunscreen and other safety measures. Let’s also hope Mother Nature will bring out the sunshine and blue skies to share with everyone.

We’re all spending more time outdoors — getting out and about in the community for walks or errands or just to stop by our favorite cafe for a cup of coffee or a cold drink. Springtime is a great season to welcome new neighbors or touch base with folks we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s a time to meet people from faraway places or from just around the corner, and to wish everyone new to our community a warm welcome to MI Town.

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