Guest Viewpoint: Mardi Gras weekend

by Phil Cannon

This weekend, Albany will host its biggest event of the year -- to  the financial benefit of hotels, restaurants, convenience stores,  gas stations, and retail shops.

The Regions Bike Race, The Snickers Marathon and the Downtown Mardi Gras  Street Festival presented by the Downtown Merchants Association and  Thronateeska Heritage Center.

We refer to this as Rock, Roll and Run  in Downtown Albany.  This event started nine years ago, in the rain, under the parking deck  downtown with 1,200 people.   Last year, more than 40,000 people walked through Downtown during  Rock, Roll and Run.

The Regions Bike Race this year will have more than 300 cyclists. The Snickers Marathon Bar marathon has more than 2,000 runners from almost every state and five countries.  A runner can possibly qualify for Boston.

This is our opportunity to show the world the Good Life City side of Albany.   When the weekend gets here, say hello to  someone  you don't know.  Let others pass in traffic.  Be more friendly than  you have ever been before.

Think about it like this: you never know who you  are saying hello to or just simply being friendly to.

Can you imagine what would happen if some CEO of a multimillion dollar company who  happened to be in town attempting to set his personal best time in a marathon goes  back to his board room and says, You guys have been looking for a new home,  let me tell you about the friendliest, cleanest little community I just  visited.

Put your best foot forward.  Take pride in your community.  Take  pride in our local family.  Take pride in helping accomplish our goal of  bringing someone new to our community.

See you this weekend!