Plenty of folks enjoyed a warm fall evening in Uptown Greenwood on Friday. The occasion was the Greenwood Chamber's annual Grape Stomp.
They milled around from place to place, from restaurants to Uptown businesses, sampling a wonderful array of wines selected by Flynn's on Maxwell. Along the way, they also were treated to various appetizers, cheeses and what, for some, was a full-fledged meal of shrimp and grits cooked up by the guys at Montague's.
The event has become one of Greenwood's fine social events of the year. It is far more than an opportunity to sample a variety of whites and reds. There was a casual atmosphere in the air and within the venues serving. People visited with each other. Some caught up with folks they had not seen in a while, others got together and ambled around Uptown's Main Street, down Maxwell and Waller avenues discussing football, their favorite wines sampled during the night and whatever else came to mind. It was a party in motion, a moveable feast among friends and acquaintances.
AROUND THE CORNER THIS month is Oktoberfest, which replaces the annual Click646 organized by Jon Holloway. It will take place along Oregon Avenue and feature the foods and beverages the name implies. No doubt it will be yet another splendid social event in the heart of Uptown. And yes, it will be on a Thursday night so as not to interfere with people's football game attendance.
The Grape Stomp, Oktoberfest and the annual summer festivals again bring to mind just how vibrant Greenwood has become in recent years, and where it might lead in the years to come.
Maybe the dream shared in this space some weeks back is not altogether unrealistic. An Uptown that is as alive with people and activities during the nights and weekends as it is during the day. An Uptown that has greenspace running along Main Street, people unimpeded by four lanes of traffic slicing through it while easy auto access and parking is available behind it. Outdoor concerts, festivals that capture the essence of each season - events that tie together the vast array of performing and visual arts afforded Greenwood residents and visitors alike. There are so many family friendly events that could take place, as well as those events that are more adult-oriented, such as wine walks and maybe even outdoor dinner theater performances.
GREENWOOD IS FORTUNATE IN that its geographical location is conducive to outdoor events nearly year-round. Sure, summers can get hot, oppressive even, and there are some weeks during the winter months when outdoor events would have to be shelved. The successes of Festival of Flowers, Festival of Discovery, Grape Stomp, LA5 (that's short for Live After Five) and other smaller events make it seem quite feasible a cadre of events could easily develop around Uptown and very nearly fill Greenwood's monthly social calendars. And as evidenced by the successes just enumerated, it only seems reasonable to believe new events would be equally well attended and supported.
Dream on? Maybe not.
Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-2522; email email@example.com ,or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.