From the Mayor 10/26/16

Reprinted with Permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

If you think that you’re too insignificant to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.  African Proverb

Neewollah is here again.

Every day is a great day to live in Independence. But today and the next few days are even more amazing than usual.

I started off with that proverb about the mosquito because we really need everyone to pitch in this week; you can make a difference. Independence will have thousands of visitors over the next few days; let’s show them what a great place this is. Welcome everyone with a smile, whether you know them or not. There’s a good chance they’re visitors. If they let you know that they are indeed visitors, give them a big welcome, and ask them if they need help finding anything. Let’s make sure that everyone knows what a friendly, wonderful place this is.

And if you see trash on the ground, please pick it up and get it in the nearest trashcan. Not only will you take care of that piece of trash, but maybe you’ll inspire someone else to do the same, or at least you’ll remind them not to drop their garbage. If you’re a homeowner, make sure that your lawn is freshly mowed. If we don’t take care of our city, how can we expect visitors to do so?

Our family had the great good fortune to attend the musical on Saturday night. Wow, it was amazing. I had goosebumps almost the entire play. Congratulations to everyone that was part of that wonderful event. We could not believe the level of talent and professionalism in the whole production. The acting was natural and the voices were truly terrific. The musicians in the orchestra were great. The costumes and make-up were very professional, even the sets were great.

As an engineer, I was hugely impressed that the actors could swim/fly and even turn flips! Apparently the five volunteers that were backstage making the characters swim and fly had to have training so they could make the performers swim/fly on cue and then land in very exact positions without dropping someone on their head. It was wonderful! When Prince Eric was supposed to be floating down to the bottom of the ocean and Ariel saved him, it really looked amazingly real. And, did you realize that they had to have stunt doubles for that scene?

I can only imagine the conversation that the directors had with Meagan Moore when rehearsals started. “Okay, Meagan, here’s the deal. We need to have you strapped into this incredibly uncomfortable body harness. It will feel like you’re in a vise, but you still have to sing like an angel. And this crew of five volunteers who have never done this before, are going to raise you up in the air and swing you back and forth and try to set you down at the perfect spot. No matter what happens, stay in character and just keep singing and smiling. Even if they drop you. Okay, now, go break a leg.”

I am telling you, this was a production! We were so impressed. Everyone in this town should be proud of that production, because it was awesome! Annie and I thought it was charming that the kids could have their picture taken with Ariel at the chili cook-off, but after hearing her sing, we wished we could go back for a photo with Ariel ourselves – what an amazing voice.

Don’t miss any of the festivities for the rest of the week; if they’re as well run as the musical, this may be the best Neewollah ever.

The carnival and bandstand are already underway and both run through Saturday night. The Doo Dah Parade is Thursday at 6:00. The Kiddie Parade is Friday at 4:00. The Arts & Crafts shows are on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Grand Parade will be Saturday at 11:00 and the Neewollah team has arranged to have perfect weather.

Longtime residents of Indy who have enjoyed many Neewollahs might no longer think of it as that amazing. But please accept this reminder from those of us that are new to the festivities, Neewollah is incredible. So many people spend countless hours planning, working, and volunteering to make this week special.

Take a moment to be proud of that, and don’t miss a thing! Actually, Annie wants you to miss the fried Snickers and eat a turkey leg instead.

Mayor Gary Hogsett