This past Thursday night I was attending the Best of Rome Spotlight event at The Forum River Center.

As I walked past the Town Green to get to The Forum, there were people sitting in the grass and on chairs and everyone was staring at a stage that had been set up in the center. It was the Rome Shakespeare Festival.

An actor was alone on the stage at the time illuminated by a spotlight. As he stood there delivering whatever monologue it was, all the people watching (some were standing, others sitting) were completely silent and stood there mesmerized.

It was the coolest thing to see so many people (with so many distractions going all around) completely transfixed. Because there was this big event at The Forum, lost of well dressed people were walking past and through the Town Green, but no one seemed distracted from what was going on on stage.

I was so impressed that I stopped for a few minutes and watched. The actor was delivering his lines perfectly and the crowd was completely invested in the performance.

It reminded me that this is one of the best times of the year in Rome. Not only is the weather getting cooler (praise Jesus) but it’s the time when many local organizations plan their events so it’s the perfect time to GET OUT in Rome and enjoy the community.

Because we’ve got so much going on this time of year, you can enjoy nature, you can enjoy food, fitness activities, fundraisers, civic events and just social gatherings.

On Friday night I sat outside Schroeder’s Deli having dinner with my buddy John. Being right there next to the sidewalk afforded us the opportunity to see everyone walking around downtown. There was a steady flow of traffic up toward the El Zarape end of Broad Street as I call it. A ton of people were going to the DeSoto Theatre to see the Rome Little Theater production of “Mamma Mia!”

The show was a hit. A whole bunch of Rome residents went to see it, it just about sold out each night. And a ton of people were posting about it on social media, giving it rave reviews.

But sitting on Broad Street watching people go by, knowing they were going to a community event made me real happy.

It made me happy because I get so frustrated when ignorant people say “there’s nothing to do in Rome.” They say Rome is boring and uncultured and they always think they have to leave town to find any sort of entertainment.

So for those of y’all who have no idea all the great things going on in Rome this time of year, I’ve compiled a list of just a FEW things you might wanna consider. There’s something for everyone in this list and this just scratches the surface...

♦ Schnauzerfest, Sept. 27

♦ Charity Golf Tournament at Stonebridge Golf Club, Sept. 27

♦ Cave Spring Corn Hole Tournament, Sept. 27

♦ Museum of Flight Pancake Fly-In, Sept. 28

♦ Rome Symphony Orchestra presents “Star Wars Suite,” Sept. 28

♦ Cave Spring BBQ Cookoff Quilt and Car Show, Sept. 28

♦ Autumn Open House at Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, Sept. 28

♦ Rome Shakespeare Festival at the Town Green, runs through Sept. 29

♦ Chiaha Harvest Fair, Oct. 26 and 27

♦ Coosa Valley Fair, Oct. 1-5

♦ Celanese Neighborhood Yard Sale, Oct. 5

♦ Going Geocashing, Oct. 2-6

♦ Haunted on Broad, Oct. 4

♦ Rolling on the Rivers Tour, Oct. 6

♦ Fiddlin’ Fest, Oct. 12

♦ Brown Bag Concert Series (live music), Rotary Plaza, Oct. 16, 11:30-1 p.m.

♦ Brews & Chews at Rome City Brewing Co., Oct. 16

♦ Boofest at the Y, Oct. 18

♦ Trout Unlimited Chili Cookoff, Oct. 19

♦ John Wisdom Wagon Train Billy Puryear Ride, Oct. 19

♦ Superstars of Wrestling, Forum River Center, Oct. 19

♦ Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Oct. 25

♦ Hard Hats and High Heels Gala, Oct. 26

♦ Rome International Film Festival, Nov. 6-9

♦ The Rome Christmas Parade Dec. 3

♦ Georgia’s Rome Winter Art Market, Dec. 7

♦ Christmas Back Home, Dec. 13

♦ Cave Spring Christmas Parade, Dec. 14

Like I said, these are only a few of the MANY events and activities going on in the coming weeks. You’ve got stuff that helps kids, stuff that helps animals, stuff that helps non profits and stuff that’s just plain ol’ fun. Put ‘em on your calendar now. If you need to get tickets, do it now so you don’t wait till it’s too late and end up not going.

And even if organized or ticketed social events aren’t for you, it’s still the best time to get outside and enjoy Rome and Floyd County. Y’all are probably tired of me telling you to get out and enjoy our trails or the rivers or to go mountain biking or a walk outside. I know I’m always going on about those things but I promise they’re good for the body and the soul.

Of course there’s a ton of places where you can sit just outside and enjoy music, food and drinks as well. Rome’s got it all. You just have to be open to trying new things. Many of the events I love to attend are ones that years ago my friends had to talk me into. I’m stubborn and sometimes I tell myself I won’t like something without even giving it a try. But I’ve learned over the years step out of my comfort zone sometimes and give new things a try. And it’s made me enjoy our community so much more.

Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune

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