EDITORIAL: A jam-packed weekend is Lee’s time to shine

Apr. 27, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

It’s likely that Lee County citizens will notice an influx of people visiting our area this weekend — staying at our hotels, eating in our restaurants and shopping in our stores.

Among other activities drawing visitors to Lee County, The Southern Side by Side Championship and Exhibition Spring Classic started Friday and continues through Sunday. The event, now in its 14th year, has become a tradition at Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School — growing into the largest regional side-by-side competition in the nation due largely to the efforts of Deep River Sporting Clays owner Bill Kempffer.

Last year, when approximately 2,000 people were here for the event, competitors came from across the nation and around the world.

Today, the International Wine Tasting and Art Walk for Temple Theatre will showcase the downtown area starting at 4 p.m. More than a dozen downtown businesses are opening their doors, music will be offered at the corner of Carthage and Steele streets, and there will be a live auction at The Art Studio. Tickets can be purchased at the Temple.

Also today is the Great Strides event at Kiwanis Family Park, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. This walk-a-thon will raise funds for cystic fibrosis research. More than 140 walkers had pre-registered by the middle of the week.

On Sunday, Fitness Fest and Family Fun Day will take place all day in Downtown Sanford. The festival includes a 5K run or walk, a 10K run, the Brick City Criterium bike race, a Kid Fun Run, a Crossfit competition, a downtown business scavenger hunt and a kids’ bike race, along with other activities that include vendors, raffles and activities for children. See more information at www.sanfordfitnessfest.com.

Welcome to all of our visitors. We hope that you will enjoy your time in Lee County. We think that you’ll find our community a fine place to spend a weekend — or to make your home.

To all of those participating in these events, whether out-of-towners or home folks, enjoy the festivities.