Message from the Mayor

It’s hard to believe but here we are already in September, but this is my favorite time of the year. I hope you all enjoyed a safe and happy Labor Day.

First off, Bobcat football is back. What a great start to the season for the Bobcats winning against two of their major rivals, T.R. Miller and Straughn High School. I wish them only the best as they move forward in their season.

You know, our football team, cheerleaders, marching band and coaches are great ambassadors for our city when they travel to away games. They represent what is great about Opp.

The program is also a revenue enhancement for our city when they have home games. Many of those coming to Opp to follow their teams eat at our restaurants, buy their fuel, and do a little pregame shopping. All of this helps our city.

This year, the Bobcats are celebrating homecoming earlier than usual. I realized this when Maggie and I returned from a Labor Day trip to find several homes throughout town had been rolled. One neighbor has been hit a few times. I noticed that Coach Brent Hill’s home has been a favorite target.

I would encourage everyone who is taking part in what has become a homecoming tradition to just stay safe and alert. Watch out for traffic and respect the wishes of those who don’t want to participate.

We look forward to a great homecoming parade and homecoming events this week.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, the West Covington Avenue Businesses will be holding a Sidewalk Yard Sale from 8 to noon. This is a project being organized by James and Linda Clifton at Opp Gun Shop. They recently moved to their new location on West Covington Avenue and I’m glad to see they are taking such an active role in their new “business neighborhood.”

With the recent small hurricane that blew through Northwest Florida, I would like to mention that September is National Preparedness Month. This is the time of the year that our city, county, state and country work to prepare for the next emergency.

Hurricane season for us will not end until Nov. 30. Traditionally, this time of the year is when we usually had our worst storms. I was shocked the other day when a forecaster said a hurricane had not hit Florida in eleven years. During this time of the year, I would encourage you to prepare for such an event. Opp is only about 70 miles north of the coast so a major storm could really do damage if it hit just right.

It is also hard to believe that this year we will mark 15 years since that horrific day on Sept. 11, 2001. So many heroes, parents, siblings, children died because our way of life is so hated by those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ. Radical extremists do not go after just one person at a time, for they want to inflict as much damage as possible and kill as many as possible as they did on 9/11.

I understand that preparations continue for this year’s Opp Fest. It will be held the last weekend of October as usual, so I encourage you to put it on your calendars.

Also, this year, the Opp Trail Masters will open their annual Scarecrows in the Park exhibit a few days early. Traditionally, the ribbon cutting and opening take place on the first Friday of October. But this year, the way the calendar fell, it will be more feasible to open the exhibit on Friday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.

Scarecrows in the Park brought in over 5,000 visitors to Frank Jackson State Park last year. It is such an important part of our city and I would encourage you to visit and take a walk through the trails. If you are unable to walk it, the Trail Masters can arrange to take you through on a golf cart.

I would also encourage you to get involved and build yourself a scarecrow. I know Maggie and I have enjoyed being represented by our scarecrows.

And thank you to all the Trail Masters who work so hard throughout the year in keeping our state park in tip top shape and for working on an event that puts such a positive image for our city.

I hope as this month continues you remain blessed by God’s Grace.

 Mayor John Bartholomew







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