Last Friday night, Owensboro Parent had a booth at the Kroger “Family Night” street fair at Friday After Five. As I was handing out magazines, I was surprised at how many people commented that they were not from Owensboro. This past Friday night I went to see a show at the Crème and had to park three blocks away to find a parking space because downtown was absolutely packed. At 10:00 when I walked out of the Crème, people were still out, there was still live music playing down the street, and there were still kids playing at Smothers. A few nights ago I drove past Chautauqua at about 9:30 and probably 50 young people were at the skate park on a weeknight.
Those types of things wouldn’t have happened a few years ago. I grew up in Owensboro in the 80s when the most exciting thing in town was riding the glass elevators at the Big E. I loved and still do love every minute of it. But I have to admit I have a new sense of pride in my town that I’ve never had before. I find myself talking it up at family reunions now and automatically switching into “tour guide” mode when I meet someone from out of town.
I know, I know. You can’t please everyone. There’s a guy at my church who was fightin’ mad about those “million dollar concrete trees.” But I couldn’t disagree with him more! I want to high-five those trees every time I walk under one of them because I can clearly see the bigger picture. And I absolutely love feeling like I’m in a bigger city when I’m walking by the fountains.
Even the naysayers in reader’s write have to admit that things are different now. This is a different city than we grew up in. Owensboro truly has become a city on the move, and personally I like where we’re going. I’m proud to say that the Owensboro my boys are growing up in is not the same ol’ hanging-out-at-Wesleyan-Park-Plaza-on-the-weekend Owensboro. Not that we didn’t love it. But I’m just sayin…