As June draws to a close, it's amazing to look back at all of the activities that have gone on since Memorial Day weekend. Someone told me that they overheard another person say that she hated to leave town because there is so much going on this summer.

Our first Friday Night Live was a great success with a couple hundred people relaxing together and enjoying a great band.

People are still talking about what a wonderful event the first Centerville Heritage and Wine Fest was. Another well-organized first time event, Centerville Civil Wars Days, combined history with entertainment for hundreds over a warm two-day period.

Organizers of the first Appanoose County Relay for Life proved without a doubt that when our community gets behind an event, we do it right-both in terms of money raised and fun. Each of these events was a first-time event and each is something to be proud of. We also had the 2nd Annual Tractor Cruise USA roll through town and received rave reviews for our hospitality. Congratulations to the organizers and volunteers involved in these activities. For many communities our size, that would be enough to last the whole summer. But we're just getting started.

This weekend we have our second Friday Night Live which will feature Ashanti Latin Jazz, Crazy Big Randy's BBQ, sandwiches from Rotary Club of Centerville and kids activities. Trophies Sports Bar is sponsoring the beverage tent and Dannco employees are the volunteer sponsor this month.

On Saturday the third annual Children's Arts Festival will be held. Artwork, and performances by area kids will highlight the festival which will also include fun activities. Children from the community have been working all week preparing for roles in the Missoula Children's Theatre production of The Jungle Book.

The following weekend, July 7 and 8, the annual Appanoose County Train Rides, will bring in hundreds of visitors to travel the historic Wabash Rail Line from Moravia to Albia and back. The excursions, with nine departure times through the weekend regularly sell out with many potential passengers waiting on stand-by to catch the train.

The Appanoose County Fair will provide us a week of varied entertainment from July 16-21. Follow this week with another Friday Night Live, SummerSplash and CroatianFest and I'd say you have another outstanding month of activities.

About seven years ago we made a conscious effort to increase our focus on tourism. The passage of the hotel-motel tax has been the factor that has allowed us to help fund many of these events, distribute about 20,000 brochures throughout the state and bring in new visitors to spend money in the area and create a community with events and activities that enhance the quality of life.

If you haven't taken the time participate in any of the new activities, you'll be surprised at what your missing.

This Week's Circulars