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Hart Beat

It's Sunshine Days...so let's meet downtown

The calendar says the first day of fall isn't until next Thursday, but in my mind when the community gathers to celebrate Sunshine Days on the third weekend of September, it is officially the time to begin pulling my favorite sweater out of storage.

Granted, I may be pulling off that sweater worn to cut the morning chill by 10 a.m., but that is all right. I love sweaters. I love fall and I especially love Sunshine Days.

The event, which opens today in downtown Sunnyside, is undergoing something of a rebirth, and I know organizers of the three-day event will appreciate the public's support. The small group of civic-minded organizers, led by Dorothy Leonard and her committee, have planned three days of entertainment for the Centennial Square Stage in the center of downtown. Plus, the group has contacted vendors to line Sixth Street between Decatur and Franklin Avenues, offering a myriad of tempting goods and foods.

I personally can't wait for the street fair this year. I love checking the booths and deciding which street fair food will be my favorite this year.

I plan on finding a spot to sit, enjoy my food and watch the entertainment unfold. I know members of the different dance teams, such as the children who attend Martin's School of Dance, who will be on stage, as well the members of the Over the Hill Senior Theatricals cast of "Annie." What fun.

In addition, there are sporting events planned, as well as a car show held around town for those who are interested in attending those types of events. Of course, Saturday morning's 10 a.m. parade is a must.

Leonard said the whole idea behind this year's Sunshine Days celebration is to recreate what traditionally has been a celebration of the end of summer and a hope for a great harvest.

For me, Sunshine Days has always been an occasion to see old friends, whom I may not have seen since last year's community celebration. To that end, I plan on getting my breakfast burrito from the Lions, who'll be serving food at the parade staging grounds at Sunnyside High School Saturday morning. Then I plan on walking downtown to see my friends and neighbors sing and dance on stage. Of course, along the way, I expect to find a bunch of great buys, which will end up on my Christmas shelf as gifts for family members.

Naturally, somewhere in my walks I hope to see you and maybe we can share an elephant ear or a mango on a stick at the street fair.

Let's make that a date. Let's meet each other this year on the streets of Sunnyside during Sunshine Days. Let's celebrate fall.

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