Dear Chamber Supporters:
Happy Friday the 13th…I think most of 2020 has been bad luck!! I don’t know of anyone with paraskavedekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) but it certainly is a myth of being a harbinger of ill will and bad luck. Some think its origins are based in Christianity…13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles (one of whom, Judas, betrayed him). The next day, of course, was Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Personally I think the novel, Friday, the Thirteenth written by Thomas William Lawson in 1907 and the horror movie, “Friday the 13th” release in 1980, which gave rise to the hockey mask-wearing killer named Jason, have done way more to support the lore than Holy Week. As I suggested earlier, 2020 has mostly seemed like bad fortune…I think most will agree – we are ready to move on!
For the first time we are seeing local numbers skyrocket…since last Wednesday, the total active case count is up from 107 to 228 who are sick…4 current hospitalizations and the number of deaths credited to coronavirus is up to 8. These are our highest numbers since the infection went rampant…our positivity rate for the last 2-weeks is 21%. West Franklin school district is returning to totally remote learning again beginning Monday, November 16 until December 4 when they will reevaluate. A big issue for them is having enough staff…teachers, when exposed must quarantine and the district is finding itself shorthanded. There is a real need for substitute teachers everywhere…many who were formerly subs are opting out…and those remaining are, for the most part, fulltime. Here is this week’s report for November 11.   
One more nod to our veterans this week…the WWI armistice was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month! This is why November 11 is always Veteran’s Day. The last WWI vet died in 2012 at the age of 110…about 300,000 WWII vets remain but are dying at a rate of 350 per day. Of course this is not to diminish all veterans who have served in war or peace time. Our warriors make sacrifices so we can live free and experience democracy…we owe them a better example of ourselves than we exhibited in the recent election. Here are the pictures of City Park from last week…they are an excellent reminder of the commitment of veterans everywhere – special thanks to the local Veteran Committee which created this amazing display. 
Downtown Buildings:
A couple downtown buildings got a refresh recently. Bruce Beatty owner of Cornerstone Christian Book store, 217 S. Main Street, painted and made his storefront new again. We also have a new business getting ready to open at 206 S. Main Street – NoteWorthy owned by Katie Wooge and Devin Schulz. Here are pictures of the 2 buildings
Several Events for your Calendar:
  •  Christmas Parade & Mayor’s Holiday Lighting Ceremony: the Christmas Parade and Mayor’s Lighting ceremony will be on the same day this year…November 28 – which is also Shop Small Saturday. The parade will begin at 4:00 with the lighting and holiday fun following. Once the parade is over, come to 2nd and Main Street for the lighting festivities…the 100-300 block of Main will remain closed until the lighting is over. We are expecting Santa to make an appearance, the Spotlight Dance Academy will perform a dance from the Nutcracker, and Phil Messenger from Messenger’s Home Furnishings will read T’was the Night Before Christmas. The Ottawa Coop and Trendel Lumber are sponsoring the Lighting Ceremony…we will be handing out free Chamber Currency from their sponsorship. Free hot chocolate 2 free bicycles to two lucky kids for Christmas, compliments of Arvest Bank will be given away. Of course all safety measures apply…wear masks and social distance. Let’s try to make Christmas as Merry as possible…and support local vendors. 
  • Chamber Annual Banquet: this will look different this year…as does everything. We are partnering with PrimeTime Grille…everyone who buys a ticket will get a swag bag included with a $20.00 gift card to PrimeTime.  The week of January 22-28 our Annual Auction items will be displayed in one of the Party Rooms at the restaurant…we are hoping most will use their gift card this week and also bid on the auction items. More details to come. 
  • Chautauqua Festival: all have heard of Christmas in July…this year we are thinking 4th of July at Christmas. The Chautauqua Festival Committee met this week to begin the planning of next year’s Independence Celebration…to get the best discounts, fireworks must be purchased in January. Going into the holidays the committee is creating a couple of Christmas raffles as a fireworks fundraiser…one for a $500.00 Price Chopper gift card; and the other a case of CCI Blazer 9mm ammo from The Gun Guys – here is a flier announcing both. By next week we will have the Chamber webpage so you can purchase tickets to participate…keep watching for details. 
K-State Football game:
Most know Cherry and I have season tickets to K-State games in the fall…we enjoy tailgating with our family. This year, because of the uncertainty we passed…also no tailgating allowed this year. We were still able to reserve our seats for next year however. Last Saturday, a couple tickets fell our way and we went to the game with my brother Jim and his wife Ann. Here are a couple pictures from inside the stadium which is undergoing another renovation/update.
It was a beautiful fall day and a great game until the Cats lost right at the end…ugh! But it was great being in the stadium…something I’ve missed all year. To me, everything seems right with the world when you are in a stadium watching a game. We attended a Royals spring training game in February in Surprise, Arizona looking forward to summer evenings and baseball at the K…the world pretty much shut down around as we came home. Who would have believed it…or even conceived it!?!
Stay vigilant Ottawa…seems as if we are bracing for round two.
Talk to you next week…
Onward ~ John 
John Coen
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce