Weekend offers full schedule

Published 9:00 pm Sunday, April 14, 2013

     When it rains it pours, as it did this weekend with events in and around our beautiful downtown. Great activities stretched across Cherokee Street this weekend beginning Friday night and into the weekend. 

     For the twelfth year in a row, through the hard work of local cycling enthusiasts Frank Moak, Richard Barker and many others, our town hosted the Mississippi Grand Prix bicycle race. The four-stage racing event kicked off downtown with a criteruim, or crit as they call in it cycling circles. The “approximately” one-kilometer course took riders through the heart of downtown at break-neck speeds for a full 60 minutes. Crits are a wonderful spectator event and several locals showed up to cheer on the riders. Fortunately there were no injuries among the riders as are common in such events.

     On into the weekend the riders traversed our county including a 27-mile ride from West Lincoln, a time-trial in Bogue Chitto and finishing up Sunday morning with a circuit race at Like Lincoln. 

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     Across the street from the official race platform Friday night was the opening night of Jesus Christ Superstar preformed by the Brookhaven Little Theatre. The cast has been laboring for weeks, as I can attest by observing the hard work and dedication of one of The Daily Leader’s own, Sheri Mathis, aka Mary Magdalene. 

     About the time the recording of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar was first produced, I came into my teenage years and had just received my first high-fidelity stereo. I throw out the term “high-fidelity” for those of us who wish to remember that we had Hi-Fi long before these kids these days ever had Wi-Fi. I listened to the music of Jesus Christ Superstar, and the story behind it, endlessly. An interesting fact, the voice of Jesus in the original recording was later the lead singer of the band Deep Purple. I was also a big Deep Purple fan back in those days.

     It wasn’t until some forty years later that I finally saw the Broadway production version of Jesus Christ Superstar. Sadly for me, times had changed and so had the music. The new millennium version had taken on an urban feel, morphing from rock opera to rap opera. With no disrespect to my hip-hop loving friends, I’ll take my rock and roll operas the old fashioned way. I’m sure my parents felt just the same way about this rock and roll version of the gospel message back in the seventies.

     By all accounts, both events went off outstandingly well. While the two might have appeared to conflict, quite the contrary seemed to take place. I talked with several folks who took in the start of the race, only to attend the premier of the play.  And as the night fell, the lights of the finish line seemed to give the Haven Theater a special opening night premier feel. I suggest bringing out the spotlights for all upcoming premiers.

     Just a half-block away on the MSA campus Saturday was held the second annual Barkfest, sponsored by the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League. Good food, great entertainment, games and loads of fun were on tap for the whole family, including the furry ones. Many of the dogs came dressed for the occasion. Others seemed to just enjoy the day napping in the warm sun.

     And to kick off the morning Saturday was the Casa de Fe 5K race and kids Fun Run to help sponsor the mission work of Casa de Fe, a haven for abandoned and special needs children in the heart of the Amazon.

     The weather could not have been more perfect for any of the events this weekend. I hope that you were able to get out and enjoy some of the many blessings that surround us here in our community.

     Rick Reynolds is president/publisher of The Daily Leader. Contact him at rick.reynolds@dailyleader.com.