Despite the winter-like weather that is hanging on during the transition to spring on March 20, there are plenty of festivities and community events that are lined up for the next several weeks, and well into the summer months here in Rolla.

Despite the winter-like weather that is hanging on during the transition to spring on March 20, there are plenty of festivities and community events that are lined up for the next several weeks, and well into the summer months here in Rolla.

But before I discuss some of the great things happening in the Meramec Region, I would like to first express my thanks and appreciation to all the City departments, including the Public Works, Police, Fire & Rescue, Parks and Recreation and Environmental Services, for all of the services and assistance they provided the St. Pat’s Board and St. Pat’s Planning Committee prior to, during, and after the 105th St. Pat’s Parade – one of the best attended parades in many years in downtown Rolla.

From road closures, to traffic signage, to traffic control, to public safety, use of the downtown bandshell and City Hall (for the concert following the parade); recycling, and even trash pick-up by Public Works employees along Pine Street last Sunday, so much more goes on behind the scenes by these departments who seamlessly incorporate these duties along with their day to day responsibilities.

Spring Break for the 4,000 students who attend Rolla Public Schools began Friday, March 22 and continues through this Friday, March 29. I mention this as the Citywide Clean-Up is just around the corner on Saturday, April 6, and this coming week may be the perfect opportunity for your kids to assist with cleaning out the garage, car-port, shed, closet or any other storage area that needs organizing and cleaning up.

The nice thing about the Clean Up on April 6 is that you can take some of your unwanted household items and simply take them to your curb that Saturday morning by 6 a.m. The residential clean up is offered as part of your weekly service, so you don’t want to miss out on this annual event. And please remember that due to the large decline in household items being picked up at the Clean-Ups, the City will be holding this event once a year in April (first Saturday), and no longer in the fall, which was traditionally the second citywide clean-up of the year.

If you are still looking for something fun, active and engaging for your children over Spring Break, consider the community’s 13-mile-long pedestrian bikepath network, including the ACORN Trail, Deible Loop Trail and Coventry Trail that make great trails for walking, running, biking and even roller blading. If the weather cooperates, there are numerous trails, parks, tennis courts, skateboard parks and mountain biking trails in town that also make a great opportunity for numerous outdoor activities.

Looking ahead to next Saturday, March 30, Breakfast With the Bunny will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at The Centre (1200 N. Holloway Street). This fun, family-oriented event is free and open to the public. And don’t forget to bring your camera for a great photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny. For more information about this event, please call 341-2386.

The month of April includes the Rolla Municipal General Election on Tuesday, April 2, (polls open at 6 a.m.); the Citywide Clean-Up on April 6, the free Family Education Fair – Growing Green! Learn, Grow, Harvest hosted by the Phelps County Master Gardeners on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ministry Center of the First Baptist Church (located at 10th and North Cedar Streets in Rolla).

Additional events you want to put on your calendar include Rolla Earth Day, which will be held on Monday, April 22. Local Government Week (April 28-May 4) will celebrate the many services provided by the City of Rolla through a proclamation, and a display at the Rolla Public Library that will showcase and feature books and literature on the many professions that encompass City government such as the Parks and Recreation, Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments.

The month of May is jam-packed with more community events, including the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, May 2, beginning at 6:30 a.m. at the Havener Center; Public Works Day Celebration on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Downtown Bandshell; and Rolla Downtown Days Art and Music Festival that will be held Friday, May 17, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the downtown business district and Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be an art walk, live entertainment, photography, poetry readings, a wine tasting, and great specials offered at the many establishments in the downtown area.

A tentative grand opening for the new Environmental Services facility (located off McCutchen Drive behind the Rolla Recycling Center) that houses the City’s Vehicle Maintenance and Sanitation Divisions, is also being planned for Wednesday, May 22, (which also happens to be the last day of school for Rolla Public School students).
Have a safe weekend and a great week ahead!