The Late Show with David Letterman is famous for its Top 10 List.
After attending last night's Vermillion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company's annual awards banquet, I feel compelled to share what participants found in the 2012 Vermillion Visitor Guide that greeted them as they arrived.
Part of the guide is devoted to the fun things one can participate in each year in our community. They are listed under the heading "8 Great Reasons to Visit Vermillion."
The guide's listing is just a snapshot, really. We sat down with pen and paper and started listing all of the things that make Vermillion great.
We don't know where to stop.
Space won't allow me to print the description of each event listed in the visitor guide in full. I think this condensed version will suffice however:
1) Ribs, Rods & Rock 'n Roll: Vermillion's Ribs Rods & Rock 'n Roll know how to host a barbecue! Enjoy two full days of world-class barbecue ribs at South Dakota's 8th Annual State Barbecue Championship Cookoff featuring national barbecue giants. The event draws thousands of locals and visitors to our community and is located in historic downtown Vermillion. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8.
2) Great Dakota Wine Festival: Valiant Vineyards hosts the unique Great Dakota Wine Festival which includes wine tasting from different South Dakota wineries, grape stomping, live music, guest chef cooking demonstrations, winery tours, and vendors. This event will be held Aug. 25-26.
3) South Dakota Shakespeare Festival: The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival, a joint venture of USD's College of Fine Arts and Coyoteopoly, will launch its inaugural season in Vermillion June 8-10. The festival will feature three evenings of outdoor performances of "As You Like It" in the stone amphitheater in Prentis Park. Daytime workshops for youth and a round-table discussion featuring visiting scholars will also be held.
4) July 4th Celebration: Bring the entire family to take part in the fun during the Community July Fourth Celebration at Barstow Park. The event includes live music, children's games and activities, inflatables, food vendors, beverage garden and a spectacular fireworks display at dark.
5) Thursdays on the Platz: Thursdays on the Platz is a summertime event in downtown Vermillion that features live music and food vendors at Ratingen Platz at the corner of Main and Market streets. Enjoy food and spirits, and socialize with friends while local musicians share their talents. This event is held weekly on Thursday evenings during July, August and September.
6) USD Dakota Days: Community members, visiting alumni, and other guests color the town red during Dakota Days, USD's homecoming celebration. The D-Days Parade, a tradition featuring university and community organizations, kicks off the event on Saturday morning, followed by the football game Saturday afternoon in the DakotaDome.
7) Clay County Fair: The annual Clay County Fair features live music, crafts, horse rides, demolition derby, ATV races, food vendors, 4-H exhibits, kids' carnival and games and 4-H Achievement Days. The fair will be held Aug. 9-11.
8) Coyote Country Rodeo/Bull-A-Rama: The annual Bull-A-Rama is organized by the Coyote Country Rodeo Club, the group committed to reviving rodeo in our community. With fundraising efforts and great community support, the goal of bringing rodeo to Vermillion was met. The Bull-A-Rama is held at the Clay County Park Arena each summer. This year's event is scheduled for Aug. 24-26.
We could easily add to this to truly make it a "Top 10" list.
But we wouldn't know where to stop.
Here's what easily comes to mind: Brown Bag Lunches at the National Music Museum, Division 1 football and basketball at the DakotaDome, everything from Red Sox, Grey Sox, and Legion baseball at Prentis Park, to T-ball games at the various ball fields located in other parks throughout the city, boating on the Missouri River, hiking up Spirit Mound, attending plays and musicals presented by the USD Theatre Department, the VHS Theatre Department and the Vermillion Community Theatre. Concerts by the USD Symphony in the beautifully refurbished Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall. I could on and on.
It's easy to take all of these things for granted. They are some of the "constants" in the lives of all of us lucky enough to call Vermillion home.
Let's hope we never simply view these events that enrich our lives as part of the routine here. There are great people here in Vermillion who put in an immeasurable amount of time and effort to give us one of the best qualities of life possible here on the plains.
We could try to list everyone involved.
But we wouldn't know where to stop.