Mayor Richard Davidson was kind enough to yield his column space today and allow me to extend you all a special invitation — as well as tell you about some fun things happening this weekend.  

The City of Neosho is getting a head start on Missouri Local Government Week by hosting an Open Government Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. today at Neosho City Hall, 203 E. Main.

Representatives from all city departments will be on hand to visit with the public and answer questions. Also, every department in the city will have booths on display showcasing what their department does on a day to day basis.

Refreshments, including meat, cheese and vegetables trays, will be provided, so come on down!  

Many of you may already know and recognize the “upper and middle management” of your city — the mayor, the city manager, the department directors, etc. Today you will also get to meet some of the rank and file public servants.

And that’s really why we hold this open house year after year. It’s to meet some of the everyday people who work for you.

So stop by for a few minutes, enjoy some free food and drink, chat with old friends and make some new acquaintances. Don’t be shy to ask any of the city employees about their department and what their role is in keeping our community moving.  

Please consider this a personal invite. Hope to see you today!

• • •

There is so much happening in Neosho this weekend I really don’t have enough space to go into much detail about it.

The third annual Herman Jaeger Festival began Thursday with the opening of the full exhibit in the Neosho Civic Auditorium (which is open daily through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and the wine and food pairing dinner at Café Angelica on the Square. The festival will continue Saturday with the “Art out of the Closet” exhibition from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Civic, followed by a silent auction of the artwork at 6 p.m., which will be accompanied by a free concert by Jim Graham and the Concrete Speedbumps from 6 to 9 p.m. The event concludes on Sunday with the “Jaeger Garden Party” from 5 to 8 p.m. at 608 Oak Ridge Drive. For more information, call John Mills at 592-0427.

The Disney movie “Frozen” will show at 7 p.m. tonight at the Civic, with free admission for all. The movie is sponsored by the Neosho Arts Council as part of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Cinema in the Park” season – except this first one was “Cinema in the Civic.” Take the kids for a night out!

The inaugural Dr. John H. Galey Art and Music Festival is all day Saturday on north Wood Street, centered at and around the One14 Coffee Bar, located (you guessed it) at 114 N. Wood St., just off the Square. Hats off to Terry and Kathy Tessmer and the other organizers for doing something to remember and celebrate the life and work of the late local artist John Galey. There will be Galey artwork on display, other local artwork for sale, live music, food, drink, and fun! Kick back and enjoy! Call 455-2739 for more info.

Just up the street on the Neosho Square, the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Car & Bike Cruise Night will be happening from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, with cool rides of all eras and decades filling up the Square. It’s always a great time and I like the feeling I get when there are classic cars all around and hit music from bygone years is playing in the background. Call 451-1925 for more info.

On Sunday, the second annual Mason Dixon Blessing of the Bikes will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the north side of the Neosho Square. There will be motorcycles, demonstrations, live music, food, vendors and more, including the actual blessing on the riders for a safe season at 3 p.m. I went to this last year and it was also a fun event — especially if you like motorcycles. For more information, call 389-3301.

Whew! And all of that is just in downtown Neosho. There are other events happening all over Neosho this weekend. Get out of the house and go to something. No one ever remembers the day they stayed home and did yard work.

Wes Franklin is public relations and events coordinator for the city of Neosho.