Twenty two years ago, after 2 years of starting the EAST COBBER magazine, I set out to create another way to spotlight all the good people in East Cobb by producing the EAST COBBER Parade & Festival. I wanted to create a community event similar to the ones I grew up with. Sure, this event has goals stated in a businesslike manner:
- To spotlight those people who contribute to the quality of life in East Cobb County.
- To provide opportunities for various groups of the community to interact.
- To bolster the image of East Cobb to external audiences as well as help East Cobb residents feel good about living in East Cobb.
- To promote the arts by providing a showcase for local fine arts performers and groups at the Festival
To promote economic development by providing local businesses an event that demonstrates their community support and allows company personnel to interact with prospects and customers.
- But truthfully, I dreamed of a hometown tradition that would create special memories for children and, selfishly, I wanted to raise my future children (I didn’t have kids yet, now my children are ages 20, 18, and 16) in a community that had a special event that made them proud of living in East Cobb!
Each year, as I direct each entry out of the staging area onto Johnson Ferry Road, I get a bit weepy watching the smiling faces of the children (and adults, too!) beaming with pride for their club, school or scout troop. And what a thrill it is to hear the boom of our incredible high school marching bands! Maybe I get teary because I had a dream –unheard of in 1995 in East Cobb County — to close down the main street in East Cobb and start a special event for East Cobbers. Who would come? What did I know about producing a parade? Who would help me turn this dream into reality? This parade has taught me so many life lessons: placing my dreams above my fears, keeping the faith, inspired by people who come into my path to help make this parade a success, and more, so many more, lessons that have encouraged and enriched me.
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do. My dream has been this publication and the parade. What’s your dream? I hope you discover the happiness of striving for and reaching your dreams. Feel free to share your dreams with me by e-mailing: [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you!