I Love a Parade
The Holiday Season is a time for learning, and one of the things The Children need to learn early is: Life is full of Disappointments. No parade this year, kids!
Published: December 10, 2013
Like many residents of Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America, I was super-psyched for the big and annual “Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade,” which starts out at Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane, and touches, technically, the Cross Keys, Roland Park, Hoes Heights, Medfield, and Hampden neighborhoods and has all the great parade stuff, marching bands, drill teams, firetrucks, old cars, various community organizations, athletic groups, cultural associations, and of course, the highlight of the parade for many (OK, maybe just me), the beloved (see previous) City Paper golem/mascot Besty™. There’s also Santa Claus, yeah, I guess he’s more popular, whatever, we all agree the parade is a great parade, and it is Annual, and this year, for the first time ever, it was canceled, the parade, because the weather was so shitty, with the snow and sleet and whatever the hell else was crapping out of the sky Sunday, it was highly unpleasant.
Regrettably, the 41st Annual Mayor’s Christmas Parade has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Because of scheduling logistics the parade will not be rescheduled. We would like to thank all the sponsors, the Hampden/Medfield communities, and the citizens and the City of Baltimore for their continued support. We look forward to seeing everyone next year.
I stayed in and watched the football game and ate and drank as a Consolation Event, and speaking as someone who was participating in the parade, albeit in an extremely minor way, getting the Besty™ gear together and schlepping all that stuff from the City Paper office in Mount Vernon to the staging area of the parade for the person who would be marching in the costume, I gotta say I agree with the decision. First of all, parade or no, I would not have marched Besty™ in the parade because the costume isn’t all-weather, it’s almost completely covered in felt, including the feet, and we would have ruined a costume that cost around a grand to have made.
Thinking about all the other elements of the parade, the people in other types of costumes, the open-topped cars with like “Miss Yuletide” and “Jr. Miss Yuletide” and stuff like that, the marching-band people carrying bigass drums and horns and whatever, forget it, this would have been awful, to make people march in that mess we had on Sunday coming outta the sky and on the street, so I think everybody can agree it was a good idea to cancel the parade Sunday and nobody’s gonna be able to support any kind of argument otherwise, but I’m already hearing the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity bitching about why the people running the parade waited so long to cancel, and that’s easy. It’s because the people running the parade really, really, really, reallyreallyreally wanted to have the parade! So they waited as long as they could, and when they saw the crap weather wasn’t gonna clear, they 86’ed the parade.
Then, people are wondering why the parade has not been rescheduled, and it’s like, are you kidding me? There’s like over a hundred different groups marching in the parade, and there’s gotta be all kindsa parking stuff, signs and threats of getting towed for people who park on Falls Road, and then you gotta hire overtime cops to hold up the traffic at certain intersections, and there’s bunches of volunteers who volunteer to be there to keep the parade moving and get all the marching groups and vehicles and the nutty guys with the tiny cars and stuff all put in a coherent order for marching, and there hadda be some sorta permit to get from the city, and I understand about “rain dates” and stuff like that, but there’s just no way you can easily have a do-over for something like this that depends so much on volunteers.
Volunteers are how this parade happens, and they aren’t in it for the money, you know? If this parade was like, somehow an entertainment you paid money for, it’d make sense to have a “rain date” or a “snow date” or whatever in place, because if you were charging admission, you’d think about having to give a refund or whatever if anything happened to louse up the parade, so then you’d probably get some sorta event insurance or rain insurance—for real, they come out and measure the rain at outdoor events that get it—and then you’d be planning for this because people would be Getting Paid, see?
The way it works now is it is a Free event, and you get what you pay for, right? The last time I looked, the parade website (mayorschristmasparade.com) had a thing on there where it said it costs $25,000 to do the parade because of permits and transportation. People raise money during the year for this parade, and I hope nobody thinks this parade won’t need any donations for next year since they didn’t have a Parade this year, OK?
And look, don’t come at me with “think of The Children” or whatever, because nobody wants it to be like this, but it’s the Holiday Season, right? The Holiday Season is a time for learning, and one of the things The Children need to learn early is: Life is full of Disappointments. No parade this year, kids! So hey, they canceled the parade, yes, but it’s OK because they scheduled a makeup date, it’s called Next Year. See you then. ■
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