It may be 80 degrees outside, but the annual Festival Off Main celebration to kick off the Christmas season locally is just a few weeks away.
Organizers have tweaked the event this year, consolidating the Christmas tree lighting, downtown festival and parade into one day - Dec. 3.
It all starts with the 5K Depot Dash at 9 a.m. The registration for that event is $15 in advance, $20 the day of the event.
After the race, it's the Festival off Main, complete with activities for kids, an art show, an antique market and what organizers are promising to be a great food court.
The county's annual Christmas parade is at 3 p.m., followed by the community Christmas tree lighting that evening.
The McDuffie Mirror is one of the event's sponsors (as we have been since the first one in 2003), and I'm thrilled about the affiliation - especially this year.
When officials announced that Dr. Joseph Greene would be the Grand Marshal of the parade, my heart smiled. After all, here's a man who loves McDuffie County in spite of - and probably because of - the struggles he's faced through the years. Why? He has a forgiving heart that sets a proud example that we should follow more often.
Speaking of the parade, there's still plenty of time to sign up your entry. This year's theme is "Good Will to Men" and the last day to sign up is Nov. 28. Forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office. Call them at 597-1000 for more information.
Meanwhile, has anyone else noticed the world is just weird lately?
Take, for example, there was the report that a cruise ship had to outrun pirates in the Indian Ocean. What? Pirates? Surely, it was nothing more than Johnny Depp honing his craft, right?
Not so much.
A passenger aboard the Seabourn Spirit told the Associated Press he was watching as a pirate fired a grenade at the ship. He ducked and felt an explosion just a few decks above.
"I could tell the guy firing the bazooka was smiling," the passenger said.
Yeah, that's what I would have remembered also. Immediately after I changed pants.
Don't forget to cheer your favorite local team on Friday night. Both Thomson and Briarwood are hitting the road for their second round playoff games.
If you can't go to Albany or Bellville, make sure you tune in the games on WTHO or WTWA. And take time this week to pat a player on the back and wish them luck. They're representing our community as they fan out across the state. We should let them know how much we appreciate what they do and how proud we are of their efforts - win or lose.