Reviewing suggestions and contributions

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 7, 2005

It is that time of year.

No, I am not referring to that fun time of Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, Christmas business parties and Christmas family gatherings, etc.

I am referring to that time of year that we at the Chamber set aside for “Christmas on the River” critiquing.

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We do this ever year after the annual event takes place.

This year’s COTR committee kept some things the same as well as incorporated some new events.

So many people work so hard to pull off the various events of the week and the staff at the Chamber and the entire “Christmas on the River” committee is extremely thankful to each and every one of the volunteers that work behind the scenes to make these events possible.

But, be that as it may, we still critique ourselves pretty thoroughly and see what is working well, what went smooth, what did not, what needs to be tweaked, what needs overhauling, etc.

As I went from event to event, I talked to various individuals and got input from them.

Although many of their comments were favorable overall, here are some simple suggestions that I have already received from different individuals:

1. More garbage cans need to be placed around the vendor food area and constant emptying of them is needed.

2. The issuing of parking passes for those that have civic center tickets needs revisiting.

3. Additional Port-A-Potties need to be along the grassy area between the civic center and the city landing.

4. Mass production and means of effective distribution of inexpensive maps showing the locations of the various events and streets, etc

5. The need for having the local radio station air the event so that those that are not close to the speaker system can have means of hearing and enjoying the audio portion of the event.

6. Go back to having some fireworks shot in between the different nautical floats, resulting in a smaller fireworks-show grand finale instead of having dead time in between the floats and a large grand finale.

7. Do not block off the portion of Main Street next to Alabama Power and Bank Trust early on Friday.

8. To try and get better attendance by our black citizens at some of the earlier events during the week.

9. To consider holding the Alabama Symphony Orchestra at the Theo Ratliff Center (if we have this event next year).

10. To find a way to display the COTR floats around town on dry ground for the period of time between COTR and Christmas itself.

This is just my list that I have begun compiling.

Each committee chairperson will have their own list to share at the critique meeting.

So please, call us or email us at the chamber with your critiques, we welcome them.

In closing, I know that Kelley Smith, the Events&Tourism director will be writing a letter of thanks to many who helped pull off this year’s event, but I personally do not want to not miss this opportunity to say a huge thanks to the public servants that are critical with an event of this size.

To Jeff Manual and the entire public safety department that handle the traffic-flow concerns and crowd management, to Mike Baker and his entire street department that assist with several of the events and the massive clean up, and to Mark Pettus and the Park&Rec department for their work.