Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



The first First Thurday, set for May 2, is an excellent start to summer season after a long winter

We've probably all heard it said that Central Oregon really only has two seasons, summer and winter. That's not true, really. We have a fall and spring, except they're each only about six weeks long, if that. Fall from early October through mid-November, then spring from early April through mid-May.

This year, with a few feet of snow sticking to the ground through much of March, proved extra brutal to those of us who, more and more each year, fantasize about spending our retirement winter in southern climes. The older I get, the more I have trouble seeing any redeeming value to winter ... the end of this past one especially.

I support anything that pushes the summer season higher up the calendar. I'd throw out that summer in Madras will start next Thursday, May 2, with the first First Thursday downtown event.

The First Thursday program started last year, and by all accounts, enjoyed a strong beginning. I hadn't seen that many people roaming about Fifth Street since the old days, when the fair parade clip-and-clopped down the main drag (outside of Eclipse Week, if that really happened and wasn't just a strange dream).

It will be exciting to witness the progress of the First Thursday program in its second year. Judging by how it picked up steam last year, it should draw strong crowds this season. What a great way to expand the weekend: take in a little street event on a warm Thursday evening.

Kudos to the downtown group, the city of Madras and the chamber for putting the muscle and the brains behind it — and for kickstarting a summer season that all of us are eager for.

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