Monday, June 15, 2009

It's a wrap!

This week, we're saying good-bye to our latest transient friends, the cast & crew of "Five Time Champion". The Smithville Film Commission is holding a wrap party this Wednesday, June 17 at the gazebo both to bid farewell and to celebrate the completion of another film shot almost entirely in Smithville. We could get used to this!

In the meantime, Smithville has entered the realm of Twitter. Become a follower of ours by adding "SeeSmithvilleTX" to your can become an honorary Smithvillian!! You'll get the latest and greatest from the first Film and Family-Friendly Town in Texas!

This week:
  • Smithville Film Commission meeting - Tuesday, June 16 - 10:00 am - Pocket's Grille
  • Keep Smithville Beautiful meeting - Wednesday, June 17 - 3:30 pm - Pocket's Grille
  • "Five Time Champion" Wrap Party - Wednesday, June 17 - 4:00 to 8:00 pm - Gazebo
  • Chamber Mixer - Thursday, June 18 - 5:00 to 7:00 pm - Sherry's Kitchen
  • Juneteenth celebration - Friday, June 19 - 10:00 am program - MLK Park
  • Bastrop County Health Fair - Saturday, June 20 - 8:00 am to Noon - Bastrop High School

Don't forget to check the Recreation Center's website at There are plenty of programs happening there, many in conjunction with the Public Library. If you would like a schedule of kids' programs for the summer (all around town), stop by or call the Chamber and we can send you a schedule.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Moving on and moving along...

Graduation time is upon us again. All over Smithville (and around the nation), people are opening their mail boxes to be greeted with those stiff, parchment envelopes, embedded in more stiff, parchment envelopes and "protected" by that ever-so-thin piece of tissue paper that, when removed, reveals the name of the proud high school graduate that has the whole future in front of him or her. That's the very definition of hope....the baby bird jumping from the nest and hoping to stay aloft and, if ambitious enough, log many productive miles. Good luck to all the Smithville graduates who may leave Smithville in the rearview mirror but never out of their hearts. They'll be back...maybe to open a business, maybe to visit family, or maybe to retire one day...but we're pretty secure on our returns here in Smithville!

The question is, when they return, will they recognize us? Well, the answer there is "yes" and "no".....

There are many changes in the works. Some are brand new, like our planned Bark Park, and others are just modifications to current structures like our plan to save the historic Central School building and return it to community use. So while we may get a nip here or a tuck there, no major facelifts will be occurring -- but just enough to give pause to someone who doesn't see us on a daily basis to go "Was that there last time I was here?"

If you got your June Chamber newsletter, you've no doubt seen all the activities for kids that are available this summer. We have art projects for those who have an eye for beauty; we have sports camps for those who want to hone their physical skills; we have churches who are sponsoring Vacation Bible Schools to feed the soul; and we have movies and games for those who just want to be. We're so fortunate to have a community that focuses so much on children. Perhaps this is the greatest selling point for Smithville...the students that participate in these activities forge lifelong friendships with their fellow classmates as well as the town itself.

Coming up in Smithville: --

Saturday, June 6 -- First Saturday Art Show -- Main & First Streets - 10:00 am
Monday, June 8 -- Economic Development Meeting -- La Cabana -- 11:45 am
Tuesday, June 9 -- City Council Meeting -- City Hall Council Chambers -- 7:00 pm
Wednesday, June 10 -- Chamber Board Meeting -- La Cabana -- 11:45 am
Thursday, June 11 -- Ribbon cutting at Harmony Hypnosis (Alum Creek) -- Noon
Thursday, June 11 -- Bark Park Meeting -- Recreation Center -- 6:30 pm
Saturday, June 13 -- Smithville Swing Golf Tournament -- Pine Forest -- 1:30 pm
Saturday, June 13 -- Friends of Save Central School -- First National Bank Community Room -- 3:30 pm

See you around!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One soggy Jamboree!

Smithville's annual homecoming event, Jamboree, not only greeted Smithvillians past and present but also a very, very special and highly-anticipated guest: rain! That's right...we're in the midst of one of the greatest dry spells this county has ever known and when does the rain decide to arrive????

Luckily, the rain didn't overstay its welcome. It showed up, gave us a good soaking, and blew out right before the Saturday afternoon parade. The wet conditions certainly didn't affect the mood at Riverbend Park that evening...the park was full of carnival-goers and folks who came out to enjoy the live music. Other than some cars being pulled out of the mud, nothing of note to report (thanks to all of our friends who have the big trucks that can handle the job of rescuing our little cars!)

Next on the horizon: Smithville's Annual Fly-In and Pancake Breakfast held at the county's only airport, Smithville-Crawford Municipal Airport. The Chamber really wants to work on expanding this event to include exhibits that may be of interest to aspiring pilots and non-pilots alike. Remember, everyone is invited to Fly-In!! We want to pack the hangar!! If you are keeping up with Smithville via the world wide web and have your own airplane, we would love to have you! (Our airport code is 84R and the event will be occurring on Saturday, May 16 from 9 am to noon. ).

In other news, we are in the final stages of updating and publishing our 2009-2010 member directory. The theme is "I love Smithville" and the cover happens to feature a photo of Mr. Brad Pitt taken during his stay in Smithville recently. His comments to our Chamber president were a partial inspiration for this year's fact, he remarked that his shoot in Smithville was "the most private public shoot" he's ever been involved with. He loved the fact that he could ride his bike around Smithville and no one hounded him for an autograph...he just got the same treatment we all expect in this town, a smile and a friendly wave! We can't wait to see you, Brad, in "The Tree of Life" alongside your beautiful co-star, Smithville TX!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The calm AFTER the storm...

There has been a whirlwind of activity over the past month-and-a-half in Smithville.

The Citizen of the Year as announced at our annual awards banquet is Peggy Walicek. After hearing of all her contributions to this community, my reaction was the same as the committee that chose her -- "Are you sure she's never been named Citizen of the Year prior to now???" Congratulations to Mrs. Walicek!

Speaking of serving one's community, the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding FD's did a marvelous job of protecting dozens of homes and businesses from the fire that broke out on February 28, the same day as the Chamber Awards Banquet. Several members of the chamber were affected directly and indirectly by this tragic turn of events; some of those folks even showed up at the banquet despite their experiences that day. Although there was some talk of postponing the event, it was determined that the Chamber could respectfully host the event, although it was a bit subdued. The true spirit of Smithville shone through as banquet attendees, dressed in their "Sunday-finest", rolled up their sleeves at the conclusion of the banquet and set up the Recreation Center to house displaced fire victims. Thankfully, there was plenty of delicious food left over from the event to serve those people in need. Silver linings!

March saw the arrival of our annual biker rally, Thunder on the Colorado, on Friday the 20th through Sunday the 22nd. Bikers from across Texas convened at RiverBend Park to show off their rides, compete in games and contests, take part in a Fun Run, enjoy some live music, and consume massive amounts of food and beverage. This event continues to generate more interest year after year, and as we here at the Chamber continue to "fine-tune" it, we hope that it can eventually become the Texas-version of Sturgis! (We've got a way to go on that one, but it doesn't hurt to dream big!)

Next up....Smithville Jamboree!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Smithville to honor its own

The Annual Awards Banquet is fast approaching and the tension is mounting!

It has already been announced that Smithville Regional Hospital is being honored as Employer/Business of the Year for all they contribute to the both the wellness and the employment opportunities in this town. It's hard to find an event in Smithville that doesn't involve the hospital system in some shape or form. Sometimes they buy sponsorships, other times they provide first aid staff, or other times they serve up some of that tasty cuisine crafted by chef John Chabot from their bistro (it's not a "hospital cafeteria"'s an "in-house bistro"!)

Likewise, the Lost Pines Artisans Alliance, our honoree for Organization of the Year, gives their all to every project they touch. From hosting First Saturday Art Shows to beautifying the skate park, from working with this community's youth to revitalizing the Mary Nichols Art Center, this group has accomplished more than they can probably even remember themselves! Not to worry, though -- we're happy to remind everyone at the Annual Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet exactly how valuable the LPAA is to all of us.

The buzz is certainly building around who will be named Smithville's Citizen of the Year. It's a blessing that we have so many deserving citizens in this town but it's a curse to have to choose just one! Everyone who nominated an individual put forth their best case and the committee had a tough task in their decision, and the winner is......well, you'll have to attend this year's banquet to find out, won't you? Sure, you can always pick up a copy of The Smithville Times to learn who was named, or you can even visit this blog after February 28th to learn the person's identity, but there's nothing quite like being there in person to see the face of the recipient when he or she learns that they've been honored by their friends and neighbors. Since the honoree has no idea that they were to be named, there is no prepared speech -- just genuine, unfiltered emotion. That's just the best, isn't it? That's what we love about Smithville!