EDITORIAL: A newsworthy day, times three

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 23, 2024

May 26 will be quite the news day for Lawrence County.

First, it will be the eve of the annual Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade, continuing a century and half of tradition honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice in military conflicts.

Parade events like Navy Night and the service at Woodland Cemetery will already be underway, and the big event steps off the next day.

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Second, the date also marks the beginning of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland, where two local students, Meredith Dunlap, of Fairland Middle School, and Ryan Frazee, of Wheelersburg, were named co-champions at the regional bee and will now compete at the multiday, national event.

And, as we learned this week, the date will also mark the start of visit to Ironton by a very special guest.

Rita Moreno is a national treasure, from the roles of her youth, winning an Academy Award for “West Side Story” in 1962, to films she makes in her 90s, such as “80 for Brady” and last year’s Steven Spielberg-helmed remake of West Side Story,” on which she served as executive producer.

Having accomplished the trifecta of winning an Oscar, Emmy and Tony (as well as numerous other honors), she is no doubt one of the biggest names to visit the city.

And the reason for it is due to an Ironton resident, John Ferguson, who has served as her manager for the past 15 years.

Ferguson, who recently moved back to Ironton and is active in the Rotary Club and the Lawrence County Museum, decided to invite his client and close friend for her second visit to his hometown (she made a private trip here a few years ago). And, as part of that trip, the two have organized a fundraising event at Ohio University Southern, which will raise funds for philanthropic projects in the city.

Ferguson and Moreno also timed her visit to coincide with the parade, for which she will stick around and watch from an Ironton home.

So there’s plenty to be exited for coming up, whether it is continuing traditions, the achievements of our youth or a legendary guest for the city.

We think Ferguson for organizing this event, which will be a unique one for the city, and welcome Moreno on her trip.