Lip sync was just a lot of good fun

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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Wanna be in movies? A lot of people do.

If you don’t believe it, just wait for the Smithfield Police Department’s lip sync video, which was filmed downtown on Thursday.

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The P.D. created quite a stir when it announced on Facebook that it would be filming its contribution to the lip sync craze now underway.

In case you (like I) were pretty much oblivious to the lip sync fad and this latest iteration thereof, it seems to have been encouraged by some lip sync video aired by late night comedian Jimmy Fallon. At least that’s what one social media columnist attributes it to.

Suffice it to say that some police department threw a video on the web a few months ago and a fad was born.

Not to be outdone, Smithfield’s police chief Alonzo Howell, a man with a great sense of humor and just a general good sport, thought it would be extra cool if the Ham Capital hammed it up.

The chief’s wish being his department’s command, the P.D. came downtown Thursday. Officers parked the town’s gimongous crime scene truck along with its two very cool motorcycles in front of The Smithfield Times and began filming. Officers went up and down the street for mini-scenes to include, then ended up at what is informally known locally as Times Square where dozens of local residents joined Town Council members eager for a moment in front of the camera.

The crowd danced, laughed and had a rousing good time alongside the police.

Since learning about the phenomenon, I’ve taken a look at a few of the videos from around the country. Many of them involved just a couple officers looking tough, looking friendly, looking downright silly. Most try to include something from their community like a water tower or other recognizable structure.

I’m eager to see what the Smithfield P.D. came up with because it seemed to me Thursday that Chief Howell and his crew were making a genuine effort to celebrate the town they serve. They brought the camera downtown and invited local folk to join the fun.

They engaged little children, parents and senior citizens, laughing joking and just generally having a grand old time.

On one level, these lip syncs are pretty corny, but what I saw happening Thursday was a community embrace between those who serve and those who are served. That’s kind’a nice.

Latest phenomenon

You’d think that most everybody had seen a sunflower field in bloom, but the traffic jam on Jericho Road Sunday contradicts that notion. Folks have flocked to the park during the past two weeks to look at and photograph the flowers, usually with the kids and family dog in front of the camera.

Planting the sunflowers a huge success and has added the town’s “quaintness” allure. There seems to be no downside unless, possibly, you live on Jericho Road and have to deal with the traffic.

The impact of Windsor Castle Park traffic on narrow Jericho Road between Church Street and the handful of residences across Little Creek was always an open question, but as the park evolved, it was put on the back burner because it was never a huge problem. The three big festivals a year are one-day events — over and done quickly.

As the town works to bring more and more people to the park on a continuing basis, however, the impact on that tiny road and its residents will have to be addressed more directly. The road can always be closed with a cul-de-sac to serve those residents and all park traffic can be brought in via Cedar Street.

The town might also want to revisit the idea of bringing visitors off the bypass as the park becomes a more popular regional site.

Meanwhile, enjoy the sunflowers. They won’t bloom much longer.