Tahlequah Daily Press

August 28, 2013

Be careful this holiday weekend


TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee National Holiday is one of the most anticipated events of the year in this area.

Thousands of people will descend on our little corner of the world to immerse themselves in tribal culture, and to spend quality time with friends and relatives. Some of those folks, along with countless others, will also head for the lake and the river.

This weekend, local businesses can expect to smooth out some of the rough patches in their bottom lines. Visitors will eat, shop, drink, rent recreational equipment, and pay money for other entertainment venues. It’s a win-win situation all the way around.

But with the county’s population increasing exponentially for the three- to four-day period, there are bound to be a few problems as well. That’s why it’s important that everyone be prudent, sensible and cautious while they’re having a good time.

As is always the case during summer holidays here, law enforcement patrols will be stepped up to thwart those who would drink and drive. If the thought of paying a stiff fine or spending a few nights in jail isn’t enough to put you off of this particular crime, perhaps the thought of doing premature business with a funeral home will give you pause.

If you plan to drink, plan to stay put, or find a designated driver. And that applies not just to automobiles, but to boats as well. Many tragic accidents have happened in the lake or river that are directly attributable to alcohol.

You should be vigilant in other ways, too. Some less-than-savory individuals take advantage of folks who are celebrating their heritage or having fun with family, and that’s why burglaries and thefts often escalate during the holidays.

Lock your home when you leave, don’t keep valuables in your vehicle, and keep a sharp eye out for trouble.

And if you’re one of the folks who likes to leave town for the Labor Day weekend, the same advice applies. A lot of people will be on the highways, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

We at the Tahlequah Daily Press hope you have a fun end-of-summer holiday. Enjoy yourselves, but be smart about it. Come to think of it, that’s good advice anytime.