Today I write this not as the Editor of the MLN but as a 14-year resident of Mesquite who has come to appreciate everything we have in our wonderful city. As I reviewed our special insert “Best of Mesquite” I discovered we left out several categories that deserve recognition. Here’s the “Rest of the Best of Mesquite.”

Best Art Community: I challenge you to find a city our size that offers as much as we do in the Arts community. If you find one, I don’t want to know about it. Even though I can’t paint, dance, sing, act, or play any musical instrument, I have come to appreciate all the talent we have in our town that can. Here’s real evidence that we have the greatest artists anywhere:

The Mesquite Toes Tap Team brought home 43 medals last weekend from the statewide Nevada Senior Games. These ladies, all volunteers, are Mesquite’s ambassadors all over the nation.

Our Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery continually draws artists and attention from all corners. September’s Fine Art Invitational exhibit drew artists from eight other galleries in southern Nevada and Utah. If history and tradition hold, an upcoming exhibit will see entries from all over the United States and possibly beyond. The Gallery’s volunteers do an amazing job of continually offering exciting exhibits and many classes for wannabe artists. (No, I’m not one of them.)

The Virgin Valley Theatre Group and Community Theatre have a super line-up of plays and musicals for the upcoming season as does the Mesquite Arts Council. They offer awesome entertainment for very little money. How many other cities of our small size have their own symphony orchestra? Or put on a Christmas variety show with as much talent as we have?

The Mesquite Showgirls and the Ms. Senior Mesquite Pageant continually show how much fun it can be to grow young the older you get. Oscar Goodman’s showgirls got nothing on our ladies.

Who can pass up the opportunity to give a shout-out to the Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation for bringing the world-renown Vienna Boys Choir to our small town? Sure, you can see such a fine show in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. But in November you’ll only have to travel five miles to see such a spectacular performance. Take that all you smaller cities that don’t have the kind of caring volunteers that Mesquite has.

Best Streets: I think we have the best streets in any city you can find. I challenge all of you to find one pothole anywhere. Granted, we don’t have the type of weather that helps create them in many other locales. But for as long as I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen one.

Not only do we not have that problem, but our streets are the cleanest of any place I’ve ever lived around the world. The City’s Public Works Department spends their time and our resources to keep them as spotless as possible. The Department also maintains a constant schedule for repaving and repairing our streets before they crumble. That’s not something you see in most places.

Best Parks: How many small towns of our size do you see with as many beautiful, well-kept parks as we have in Mesquite? From the smallest dog park to the huge Mesquite Sports and Events Center, our City has something to offer everyone. We have a great new Splash Pad at Hafen Park that, all politicking aside, has been a big hit for the young and old. Families have a new opportunity to enjoy a wonderful amenity for free.

Our ball parks and soccer fields are on par with or above those in much larger cities. That’s one of the main reasons why we host so many tournaments from outside that brings tourists and families to town. The other main reason is the City staffers who keep the fields in meticulous shape and so clean.

Best Trails: As evidenced by the recent Trail Map published by the Mesquite Athletic and Information Technology Departments, I think we have some of the best trails I’ve seen in a city our size. You can go from north to south, east to west, all through the town on safe, well-maintained paths and trails. You can ride or walk along the river or traipse up through the harsh desert foothills without ever leaving the city limits.

The City and the volunteer Bicycle Advisory Committee have worked hard over the last few years to increase the availability of biking trails that are both safe and fun. Together they won national recognition for Mesquite as a “Bicycle Friendly Community.” The Committee is also working to install bike racks around town and bringing in biking events that draw visitors and tourists.

Best People and Friends: Mesquite has the best people anywhere on earth. Our people built an outstanding Veterans Center with very little public money. It started with volunteers and continues to improve thanks to them. Because of the Any Soldier program the Vets Center and others sponsor every Christmas, people all over the world know about Mesquite.

The City’s Animal Shelter has dozens of people that tend to stray and lost critters all because they care. We Care For Animals does a fantastic job helping pair furry friends with those who need and want them.

Volunteer groups like the Rotary Clubs and the Exchange Club do an awesome job of not just providing entertaining events but helping local citizens and those beyond our borders. How many other towns and cities in our nation have an annual event like the 1000 Flags Over Mesquite that stirs not just the heart but the soul?

We have a multitude of churches and volunteer organizations who help those less fortunate. They work with the very youngest and very oldest all because they want to. Volunteers help make the Mesquite Recreation Center a place of friendship and fun by giving their time and energy to provide extra classes and events that the paid staff simply couldn’t do.

The most overwhelming evidence I can give you that Mesquite has the best people and friends in the world is the annual Golf For Kids golf tournament that happens every December. It’s grown from just a few crazy golfers to more than 500 participants and dozens of businesses who use their hearts and purses to make sure every kid in the whole Valley has something from Santa under the Christmas tree.

Best Sunshine: Last, but not least, we have the best sunshine anywhere on earth. For that, I thank God for all His hard work and care.