Oxford is still the place we love but we don’t live in a bubble

Published 9:01 am Monday, April 30, 2018

A lot of hard work and planning goes into the Double Decker Arts Festival each year and city employees put in long hours all weekend to make sure the event runs smoothly.

While a ton of things can go wrong, nothing can ruin those months of planning worse than bad weather.

However, that wasn’t something Visit Oxford had to worry about this year as Mother Nature was more than kind to Oxford for our annual celebration.

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The Square was packed by 10:30 Saturday morning and remained that way throughout the day and into the nighttime hours.

I’m sure the festival saw record numbers this year and Visit Oxford, and all those involved deserve a job well done for sure.

You just couldn’t ask for a prettier weekend.

While everything seemed perfect Saturday, one incident Friday night did cast a dark shadow over the weekend.

A fight broke out at The Lyric Oxford, and someone took out a gun and shot it up in the air, which caused chaos and panic as people rushed outside. One person received injuries from broken glass. Luckily, no one was shot.

The Oxford Police Department was on scene and handled the situation quickly, according to witnesses.

However, word spread on social media and people made comments about how “Oxford just isn’t Oxford anymore,” and some expressed concerns about safety during Saturday’s festival.

It was the second shooting inside city limits in just over a week. OPD arrested a man April 19 for shooting at someone near the Rockette’s gas station. No one was injured in that incident either.

Just because there were no injuries, doesn’t make the incidents less scary. Someone still pulled out a gun in public and pulled the trigger. It was only luck that no one was hurt.

We like to think of Oxford as something similar to Mayberry – and most days, that’s easy to do.

However, Oxford isn’t immune to violence – or apparently people who have little concern about the law from coming here.

Do we stop holding festivals or events? Heck no. We continue to live our lives, enjoy Oxford and Lafayette County and show support for our local law enforcement agencies when they ask for the funding – and updated laws – they need to continue to protect and serve this community.

Oxford is still Oxford, and as long as those of us who love this town keep fighting to keep it Mayberry-like, I have faith that those who wish for it to become something else will realize that Oxonians won’t tolerate that kind of behavior and move along.