Archived Story

Promoting tourism has to start at home

Published 1:48pm Thursday, May 30, 2013

Well, it’s happened again – I’m running my second-ever 5K.

This time, however, I think I’m going to end up being a lot more colorful by the end of it.

Saturday I’ll be joining other runners in the “Color Me Downtown” 5K Fun Run.

I’ve had many friends participate in various color runs, and I have loved looking at the photos from those events – everyone covered from head to toe in powdered paint and absolutely beaming.

I was tickled pink (forgive the pun) when I heard our city would be hosting its own color run, sponsored by Parks and Rec.

A color run is a new, fresh, popular idea – one that, if we continue to hold it, will draw more and more runners from across the Southeast each year. That’s the type of tourism the Lake Martin region needs.

I hope this is the first of many diverse events for the Lake Martin area.

We already have a huge asset in the beautiful Lake Martin. That in itself lends itself to all types of outdoor activities year-round – boating, fishing, hiking and swimming, to name a few.

We also have the Alexander City Jazz Fest, which in its 23 years has gained support from across the country. There are also other events that are truly the heart of Lake Martin – the Russell Lands’ Fourth of July Blast, Oktoberfest, the Lake Martin rodeo, various art and car shows, the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony and so many more.

But the participation in these events – and the reason for their continued success – started at home.

We as a community have to support these events if we hope for people outside our community to support them as well.

So if you aren’t signed up for “Color Me Downtown,” you still have time to register at or at the Sportplex office. Registration is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the race, and the race will start from Strand Park at 8 a.m.

You don’t have to be a runner to participate, though. Spectators can purchase a color pack for the event’s Color Blast Party for only $1.

If you have any questions, contact Jennifer Baker at (256) 329-6736.

To springboard on the idea of participation, I hope everyone will keep in mind the city’s first ever Sunfest, sponsored by the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce and local businesses, which is scheduled for July 20-27.

The Outlook will be keeping you updated on the multitude of events in the coming weeks. We’ve already reported on the weeklong event’s culmination in a concert at the Sportplex with Jo Dee Messina, and there are even more great events being scheduled.

But let me tell you, we’re already excited about it, and I hope you are, too.

Let’s use events like this to stay excited about our great city. Talk everything up to both in-town and out-of-town friends. Some of the best promotion we can do is through word of mouth.

I appreciate everyone in our community for the support they’ve already given, and I look forward to the Lake Martin region being able to use events like this to add even more people to our Alexander City “family” – whether they be frequent visitors, second homeowners or future permanent residents.

Spears is general manager and managing editor for The Outlook.