The Curry Coastal Pilot

This week's annual Azalea Festival offers a much-needed respite for a community beleaguered by an economic downturn, budget cuts and overall uncertainty.

For the remaining three days of the festival andndash; today through Monday andndash; residents and visitors will be reminded of the many positive things this community has to offer.

Local organizations and volunteers will be out in force, selling goods and raising awareness of important civic efforts and activities. Local artists will be displaying their work and musicians will be performing live. Even our best and brightest slugs will race at the annual Slug Races Sunday at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

More importantly, local dignitaries, the Azalea queen and her court, and our local veterans will be honored at various ceremonies.

From the selling of the first book at the library book sale Thursday to the final salute given at the Memorial Day Ceremony at the port Monday, it takes the work of hundreds of people to take care of thousands of details andndash; and visitors andndash; for this community-wide event.

We thank all of you for the effort.

The Azalea Festival is a big people magnet, and we want visitors to have a great time, kicking off what we hope will be a great tourism season.

For those of us who live here, we fervently hope the festival will renew our appreciation for our fair community, giving us the patience and fortitude we will need to face the challenges that lay ahead.