Editorial: Rendezvous has a positive impact on area

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 8, 2002

The 16th-annual Big Island Rendezvous is through, and whether it was bringing thousands of students to town, attracting other visitors or providing education and entertainment for local spectators and participants, the festival showed again why it’s an important event for Albert Lea.

Organizers who put on the big, history-based festival deserve a hearty pat on the back for their efforts, and not just because of the substantial tourism dollars it creates.

At a time when national studies show fewer young people have a basic understanding of

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history, it’s easy to see the value of attending the Rendezvous for students from the region, who swarmed Bancroft Bay Park Thursday and Friday. Over the last decade-and-a-half, the Rendezvous has surely sparked an interest in history for hundreds of youngsters, and that alone makes a positive difference. The best part is that kids get to see the past reenacted first-hand, in a manner that has more of an impact than books or lectures ever could.

Albert Lea will be fortunate if the Rendezvous, and the learning experiences it presents, go on for another 16 years and beyond.