Jim Buice column: Welcome back, Clemmons Community Day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2022

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Who would have believed when the Clemmons Community Day reached a milestone in 2019 with its 10-year anniversary that it would be another three years before the town would be able to celebrate “community” once again?

But we didn’t know what was coming with the arrival of COVID-19 in March 2020, followed by the ebbs and flows of a stifling global pandemic that didn’t loosen its grip until the last couple of months.

So what had become an annual fixture on the calendar in early May is finally back at last — with the 11th Clemmons Community Day set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jerry Long Family YMCA.

Quite honestly, I’ve missed it. I’ve always enjoyed visiting all the tents and booths set up by local businesses and finding out more about what they do — and usually picking up a few goodies in the process. Then there’s all the other food, games and entertainment offered in a family-friendly environment.

Certainly, Clemmons Community Day has come a long way since the early days when the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce and the Jerry Long Y decided to join forces for a bigger and better event.

The first year when it was held at the Y in 2013, chamber officials estimated a record crowd of 6,000 along with many more vendors and additional health-related activities in the new venue.

There’s was even talk a few years later about moving it to Tanglewood to have more space and parking before top officials reconsidered.

Why move when the Y is such a great partner and an ideal location?

An added bonus for the return of Clemmons Community Day is that the first Clemmons Farmers Market of the new season will make its debut Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. on an adjoining lot across the parking lot at Y.

As Shannon Ford, the village’s marketing and communications director, said, “So we’ll be on two separate fields, but you can get double bang for your buck when you come to the Y that day.”

• • • • •

During my career in newspapers and media, I sometimes dreamed about doing something different — like being a high school English teacher.

When I was in between jobs close to 15 years ago and having flexibility in my schedule as a full-time free-lancer, I decided to mix in some substitute teaching as a test to see if entering the classroom could possibly be a second career.

It didn’t take long for me to reconsider with this question: ‘What was I thinking?’ I went back to my roots and never looked back.

However, I’m getting another chance to get back in the classroom this week, at least for an hour or so, after being asked to talk to a class of third-graders about writing and the newspaper business.

The basics of writing have really never changed, but newspapers… well, that’s a different story.

When I got into the business way back in the day, we — along with radio and television stations — determined the news and stories that the public would receive thanks to national/international feeds and local reporters and photographers.

Of course, that was before the internet came along, followed by the proliferation of social media, which totally changed the way people choose to get their “news” on their cell phones or laptops.

Many times, it’s a take or slanted view that is more opinion than news, but the lines have been blurred with all the various sources.

Having said that, I value the importance of legitimate media companies that provide adequate resources to cover the news and deliver quality print and digital products. I also still and will always embrace the role of newspapers being a watchdog and holding local governments accountable.

During my visit to the school, I will hand out copies of the print edition of the Courier and tell these young kids what goes into putting out a community newspaper and what it’s like to write for newspapers, including the process of doing research, interviewing and organizing the construction of the story, and how things have changed over the years in the business, including social media.

I’ll probably even ask them where they or their parents find out about things or get their news.

Then, I’ll probably close things with a Q&A before turning things back over to the teacher.

And I’ll go back to do what I do … and have always done.