The Colony’s Independence Day Parade will not march on this year.
Tuesday the City Council agreed to cancel this year’s parade, which had originally been scheduled for July 3, a Saturday. It was set to coincide with the Liberty 10K/5K/1-mile Run and lead up to the Liberty by the Lake event July 4.
But city leaders said there were several concerns with having the parade this year, especially since it would be taking place at the same time as the LPGA’s Volunteers of America Classic.
Lindsey Stansell, special events supervisor for the city, said those simultaneous events, plus the Liberty 10K/5K/1-mile run moving to Old American Golf Club, may be too much to manage.
“Saturday and Sunday will be the final rounds and probably the more heavily attended of the LPGA,” Stansell said. “So that does provide some possible issues with staffing between fire, PD and parks and rec. With the new course it does require some additional staffing on our end to make sure we can properly manage the race in a new location.”
City leaders are also concerned about how the number of parade entries has dwindled over the years.
“This parade is one of our lowest turnouts of a parade,” Stansell said. “Our holiday parade brings in anywhere between 30 to 40 entries, and unfortunately our Liberty Independence Day Parade brings in an average of 16 entries, and each year it gets lower and lower.”
Stansell said nearly half of the parade entries in the holiday parade are from local schools and school organizations. She said with it being the summer, those groups are unlikely to participate in July.
She said the Sunday parade would put participants outside in the hottest part of the day.
Stansell presented three options to the council, including leaving the parade as scheduled for July 3.
She said the city could move the parade to Sunday, though she said it would start later in the afternoon putting people outside in the hottest part of the day.
The third option was to cancel the parade for 2021.
Council members agreed canceling the parade would be best so not to put a strain on the city’s resources.
“The part that really bothers me is stretching out the police and fire too thin to be able to handle any calls that are necessary,” Mayor Pro Tem Richard Boyer said, “plus the other obligations they have, for the run, the tournament, the fire department, the medical uses out of the tournament and things like that.”
Boyer and others suggested revisiting the idea for the parade next year when the timing may be different.
“I’d be in favor of seeing if we could rebuild it for the Fourth of July, that way we have a parade every six months,” Councilman Schrag said.
It was also suggested the city have a Veterans Day Parade instead of an Independence Day Parade.
Those wishing to participate in the run can register at libertybythelake.com. Every runner gets a free ticket to the LPGA, as well as a T-shirt and a free breakfast.
The Liberty by the Lake event will take place at Five Star Complex. It will feature live music, a business expo, food vendors, giveaways and yard games with a fireworks show to conclude the event.