City should have backup plan

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Does it feel like something is missing? Do your Christmas and holiday plans seem like they’re a little light this year? It’s hard to put your finger on it.

Wait … no … we didn’t have a Christmas parade. That’s it.

The annual Christmas parade — or Holiday Parade, as the city touted it in its many press releases leading up to the Dec. 5 event — was canceled just ahead of the event due to inclement weather predicted. Weather predicted and weather delivered.

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There is little doubt to anyone who was out and about Saturday morning, enduring cold, windy and wet weather, that it was not the perfect environment for a parade — or any other event, for that matter.

But, to cancel the event seemed a little drastic. Many people wondered why not just reschedule it for another day, do it another way — do anything but cancel it.

With the heated debate that raged early in the year about what portion of the city should even host the parade, it seemed odd that such an annual extravaganza would just be abruptly called without even an attempt to reschedule.

It is understandable city officials would not want to chase the weather, moving the event to one day and then another, but one attempt would have been tremendously appreciated.

We understand the logistics involved in closing streets — especially in downtown — and the city employees asked to work just to watch a few bands, floats and Santa, but it is a part of the holidays many look forward to. And, unfortunately, the Christmas parade only rolls around every 12 months.

The economic impact on downtown retailers may not be easy to figure, but I am sure those business owners would not have minded having hundreds of potential customers flock to downtown streets.

It is our hope we have better weather next year and the city has a plan in place to reschedule the event rather than cancel it.