Shelby County ready for national attention

Published 9:03 am Saturday, July 9, 2022

Editorial

The opportunity is ripe for the picking in Shelby County over the next two weeks.

A typical Southern term typically reserved for peaches, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, this summer, it has a slightly different meaning.

With The World Games starting this week, thousands of worldwide visitors will make their way to the Birmingham-metro area, and Shelby County is in a prime position to take advantage.

Jefferson County and downtown Birmingham are the major hubs for the first World Games to take place in the United States since 1981, but Shelby County is the only other county in the state hosting any events thanks to the abundance of offerings at Oak Mountain State Park.

The park will host three different events in the final week of this year’s festivities, including canoeing, waterskiing/wakeboarding and orienteering.

Not only will that bring visitors and volunteers to the park for some of the most exciting competitions, but it will expose them to Shelby County.

While many will undoubtedly have to deal with the nightmares of traffic along Interstate 65, U.S. 280, U.S. 31 and Alabama 119, including the inevitable of being stopped by a train, they’ll have the opportunity to be exposed to the beauty of the county.

That beauty is the quality of life we get to experience in this county on a daily basis.

Those coming to The World Games, even if they aren’t attending an event at Oak Mountain State Park, could be staying in the county or at some point traveling through the county.

With that, they’ll be exposed to the mountain ranges of Oak Mountain and Double Oak Mountain, the bustling businesses, the many shops and restaurants, the parks and their amenities, and the beautiful communities, homes and neighborhoods we live in.

Tourism in the county is already top-notch and the county also boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the state, but to have a chance to be on the global stage and showcase our county to people from other countries and across this country is a rare opportunity.

So, during the span of July 7-17, let’s show why we are proud to live where we live. Be hospitable, be generous, be appreciative, and, most importantly, showcase why this continues to be the best place in the state to call home.