Born and raised in the suburbs, I don’t believe I had ever heard the term “Dog Days” until I moved to Madison County and heard farmers speak of them. They, of course, refer to the hot and sultry days of summer, usually in July and August, which around here meant tobacco time.
But according to Wikipedia, the term originated with the Greeks. The Romans would sacrifice a “red” dog every spring to appease Sirius – the Dog Star – which they believed to be the cause of the hot weather. The Dog Days were widely believed to be an evil time when the sea boiled, dogs grew mad, and men suffered from fevers and hysterics.
Well, my hometown of Marshall, in its post-tobacco present, has added a new twist to the definition and Friday, August 8 at 5 pm, marks the 7th Annual Dog Daze event in town. The event features music, food, and art walks with the main attraction being the Parade of Dogs from the island to downtown, which begins at 6:30.
Dog Daze is one of many quirky, playful and artistic happenings that seem to have overtaken Marshall in recent years. Scores of new people, bars, music, bakeries, bicycles and galleries have brought new life to our town, which had been languishing and mostly vacant for the previous three decades. There are people in the county who do not like the changes and I can understand their difficulty accepting what appears to be a foreign invasion. But evolution is never easy or smooth and if communities are going to thrive, evolution is inevitable and should be welcomed.