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Summer fun wasn’t scarce in Harrison County

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By Kate Darnell

Perhaps it was a stupid assumption, but I thought my first summer here at The Cynthiana Democrat would be slow, hot and uneventful.

I had visions of sipping ice cold lemonade through a hot pink straw, while I tanned on a lounge chair at the side of a crystal blue pool.

Awww... I can almost smell the chlorine.

Reality, it seems, can be a slap in the face.

My bright green agenda and the weekend plans it often holds soon became filled with festivals and events.

In May, with my camera in tow, I joined families and citizens who came to the streets and the middle school auditorium to honor the soldiers who had recently returned from Afghanistan with the 201st Engineer Battalion.

I listened to Johnathan Allison belt out Johnny Cash tunes at Rohs Opera House’s Cynthiana Idol 2, where he later claimed the title.

One cloudy Saturday morning, I flew in a private airplane with two young boys and a pilot. The boys had never ridden in a plane until this year’s Young Eagles program at the Cynthiana-Harrison County airport.

In June, the Cynthiana firefighters hosted the Cyn City Music Fest to raise money for their Relay for Life team.

The large Relay for Life event followed later in the month.

Oh... then there were the many events at the Harrison County Fair, the St. Edwards annual Ice Cream Social, the Fabulous Fourth on July 5, Friday Night Flicks at Flat Run Veterans’ Park and the Berry Festival.

And in between every festival, parade or fair night, there were movies, plays and special events at Rohs Opera House.

I hadn’t really accounted or taken advantage of all the summer festivals/events in Harrison County until it became partly my responsibility to cover them.

So while it was hot some days, (the newsroom gets especially warm) the summer was never slow and uneventful.

After interviewing Karey Smith in the spring and writing a story about the Cynthiana Art Walk, I opened my bright green agenda, and circled the weekend of July 24-25.

From a journalistic standpoint, it was going to be a great event to cover.

I imagined the stories I would write before hand, highlighting the events of that weekend. I pictured the photos that would line the pages of the Democrat - little kids drawing on Main Street sidewalks, people strolling down blocked-off city streets, the entire town enjoying art, each other and the summer.

It was going to be a journalist/photographer’s dream.

But also... I was really excited to go to the Art Walk as Kate Darnell - the person - without the journalistic standpoint stuff.

Many times this summer, I’ve realized that I’ve had fun on the job.

As I rode in a private airplane, snapping pictures of a young boy’s first airplane ride, I thought, “This is the coolest job ever.”

Again, as I walked the streets of Main, Pike and Walnut Saturday, snapping pictures of those photo opportunities I had been dreaming about for months, I caught myself having fun.

In Cynthiana.

The idea for so many - to have fun in our small town - is foreign.

Perhaps I believed that once... before this summer.

But now I can no longer let statements like, “There’s nothing to do around here,” stand by without listing every summer event hosted in Harrison County (many of which were free to the public) to the commentor who made the mistake of not attending those events that were right under his/her nose.

After coordinating this past weekend’s Art Walk for the Cynthiana Arts Council, Karey Smith was excited when I talked to her Monday morning.

“There was just an energy downtown Friday night,” she said.

She said the response from the weekend’s event had given her hope.

Cynthiana, she said, was not dead.

Karey has to be right.

If Cynthiana was dead, then I wouldn’t have taken thousands of photos this summer.

And I would have a tan.