EDITORIAL: Thank you for celebrating with us

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After four years of pulling off new ideas, the next always bigger than the last, and reveling in the sight of our friends and neighbors enjoying the fruits of that labor at one community celebration after another, it’s time for the newspaper to step away from the City-funded event business.

The staff at The Independent is growing, but not as quickly as the new opportunities we find around every corner these days. It is a great problem to have. We are taking off in new directions with new publications and new marketing initiatives as we expand and become a more complete media and marketing company.

As The Independent grows and thrives alongside the community we love so much, we have to make choices on our direction and focus just like any other business. This is the right time to step back from the business of events. But we do like to think back fondly on how we all got to this place.

In 2016, we had this crazy idea of creating an Independence Day celebration for the community and the Liberty Hill Independence Day Spectacular was born. No one here had any idea that the hard work and stress of creating such an event from nothing would pay off in such a big way. Four years later, Liberty Hill has a reputation for incredible events, from the Spectacular to the brand new Whimsy & Wonder art festival. Great festivals and big additions have become the expectation rather than the pleasant surprise.

Last year, the City of Liberty Hill asked to partner with The Independent and as a team we demonstrated again how thinking outside the box and being more inclusive can pay off for the community in a big way. The Independence Day Spectacular became even more amazing with the City’s support, and the community is still abuzz over Whimsy & Wonder.

We are proud partners with the Liberty Hill Development Foundation and are all-in dedicated to making the International Sculpture Festival better than ever in October. Then, we are teaming up for the last time with the City to develop the Christmas Festival in December.

In 2020, The Independent will step aside as the City takes the reins and leads the way on Independence Day, Whimsy & Wonder and the Christmas Festival.

But, we will continue to lead the way on the Liberty Hill Day of Giving, which raises funds for Liberty Hill non-profit organizations. The Day of Giving was born from our desire to help those making a difference in our hometown and with your generosity, we’ve done it in a big way.

The City is hiring a new events coordinator, and has brought on a new consultant eager to get involved in what we all know is something special. With limitless opportunities for The Independent to grow its business in other areas, this is the right time to leave things better than when we started, join the spectators and see these amazing events the way so many of you do each year.

As our new marketing and promotional initiatives take more of our time as we introduce new products and new ways to help area businesses grow, we expect the creativity will overflow again and perhaps a new celebration hatched in the newspaper offices may join the host of community traditions.

It is bittersweet to turn all of this over, but The Independent is grateful for the many sponsors over the years, the City’s partnership, and most of all for a community eager to gather together and build something special that tells the world Liberty Hill is a special place.

Thank you for letting us dream big and sharing it with us. And next May, look for us at the wine sampling table at Whimsy & Wonder or on the grass on a blanket next to your family at Independence Day, because we will be there, enjoying the moment right next to you.

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