Where the rubber meets the parade route
Maybe it was just a case of simple miscommunication. Then again, maybe it was something more akin to the 'Who's on First' skit by Abbott and Costello.
But whatever it was, we're glad it's over, and we're elated it appears the Sandy Mountain Festival Board of Directors and the city of Sandy have landed on the same page regarding the future of the festival's highly successful and endearing parade.
When word emerged that the Sandy Mountain Festival was severing its ties (turns out that was an exaggeration) with the parade, it was cause for concern. But it was nowhere as consternating as the notion of the city taking over and converting the parade to an expanded non-motorized kids' parade.
The idea of a Sandy Mountain Festival without its zany, homey and pure Americana parade made about as much sense and trading a 16-ounce rib eye for a McDonald's burger.
We think the groundswell of grassroots support for the parade - as was witnessed on Facebook - was proof enough of just what this parade means to this community.
When all was said and done, we're relieved that the festival organizers and city staffers were able to enjoy an 'ah! ha!' moment where they collectively realized neither party wanted to pull the plug - just a big miscommunication.
Like most things, this was an exercise that proves good things often come from difficult situations.
The Sandy Mountain Festival drove home it's message that it can't afford to pay the $1,500 price of a permit to close Highway 26 (Proctor Boulevard) for the parade. What is lost in the entire discussion of the festival is this nonprofit organization tries to donate dollars back to the community in the form grants that support the arts. Every dollar spent elsewhere risks diluting that effort.
The festival organizers also were able to send a resounding message: More volunteer help is needed to pull off the parade, which is start-to-finish a logistical nightmare.
The city, likewise, was able to make it clear that it simply can't afford to sponsor the festival at its traditional level.
Where from here?
We think Mayor Bill King hit the nail on the head when he said, 'Clearly the community wants the parade. If more people are active and help with fundraising, I don't see why it can't continue.'
And so, this is where the proverbial rubber meets the parade route.
Everyone who has said it will be easy for this community to come up with the $1,500 to cover the cost of the ODOT permit; everyone who has said they would gladly volunteer or help recruit volunteers; and everyone who has said the parade is an important part of the Sandy tapestry, needs to make this a serious commitment.
The Sandy Mountain Festival has a 12-member board of directors. And among those directors is one person who leads a parade committee. That's not going to change. What will change is the effort to connect volunteers with that committee.
A parade meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at the city shops across the street from the Sandy Cinema. The Sandy Mountain Festival could use your help.
If this community is to see this parade continue for years to come, the festival and parade organizers are going to need your dedicated assistance.