— By BRIAN SMITH
In Andrea Lynn’s mind, “First Monday is back with a vengeance.”
Lynn, a First Monday Trade Days committee member, said she remembers when the monthly event was nearly a memory, which she says was done by a prior city manager. First Monday is a part of Weatherford’s heritage which should never been allowed to be put on a back burner in Lynn’s mind.
Last weekend, hundreds, if not thousands, of people enjoyed the Friday and Saturday events, attractions and vendors and the warm, sunny weather before thermometer readings plummeted on Sunday.
“Over the years, it’s been away for people to come to town and catch up with friends,” Lynn said. “From the time people could walk to the time they died, First Monday has been a part of the city’s livelihood and it needs to stay that way.
Lynn said much of the turnaround of Heritage Park is due to Weatherford City Manager Jerry Blaisdell. Blaisdell coming aboard has sparked the event once again and made things even better.
“If it wasn’t for Jerry, none of this would be here right now and we wouldn’t be having this,” Lynn said.
A Spring Celebration at Heritage Park was held Friday with a ribbon cutting honoring the grand opening of the middle parking lot at the facility. A free Texas country music concert was also part of the weekend activities.
It is one of the many improvements planned for the park and monthly event over the next several months. A dog park and amphitheater are just two of the many things planned for the area to make it more of a year round use facility.
Along with the ribbon cutting, a bench near where the ribbon cutting took place with all the committee members names on it was unveiled, giving everyone a chance to take a break and enjoy the grounds. In his comments following the ribbon cutting, Blaisdell thanked the First Monday committee for turning things around.
“It was their tenacity to the council that is bringing all this forward and making things happen,” Blaisdell said. “They were adamant on how important this is to Weatherford. (First Monday) brings as many people to town as any event we have.”
Because of the committee’s die-hard spirit before the council, Blaisdell said the Heritage Park is flourishing, which showcases the city. Blaisdell said the event and park itself will only continue to grow.
“It’s one of the best things in my tenure,” Blaisdell said.
Mayor Pro Tem Craig Swancy echoed Blaisdell’s comments, saying the committee is a “driving force in the community” concerning the event and they were right.
“The committee knew what needed to be done and didn’t let go of that in front of the council,” Swancy said. “It was their words and deeds that have really made all of this happen.”