OUR OPINION: Events panel lands idea to lure visitors

What we know about catfish would fit in a small bait bucket.

Catfish are ugly, even as fish go, but tasty.

Competing to catch them, however, may lure a new cadre of visitors to Jefferson City.

The Capital Cat Classic, a catfish tournament to be held Saturday, is the creation of the Athletic Events Committee of the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau. The tournament marks the culmination of an idea suggested by professional angler Roger Gerloff.

We're attracted to the catfish tourney for two reasons.

First, it's innovative.

We applaud the Athletic Events Committee for not resting only on repetitious laurels. Maintaining existing annual events is important, but so is cultivating new activities.

An innovative idea requires courage to adopt and toil to develop. The mindset of committee members offers a hatchery for new ideas. As evidence, the panel also is contemplating events involving cheerleading, softball, football, ultimate Frisbee and video gaming.

Second, the event capitalizes on what may be the Capital City's most under-utilized resource -- the Missouri River.

"I've lived here all my life, and the river has just been something you drive across, said Denise Kinard, chairman of the Athletic Events Committee. "Other cities have capitalized on it. We want to utilize all of our resources in promoting the city."

The Capital Cat Classic is valuable not only for what it is, but for what it represents -- the imagination and energy to be progressive.

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