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Offer support for parade

November 18, 2012
The Leader Herald

For 10 years, the Classic Image Johnstown Holiday Parade has warmed our hearts despite the cold weather in November. It would be a shame if the community lets what has become a welcome tradition disappear.

Hundreds of people lined West and East Main streets in Johnstown on Friday night to watch the five-division parade.

Without continued financial and volunteer support, however, the parade's future could be in jeopardy.

Karen Coppola, the chief organizer of the privately run parade, plans to organize the event again next year, but donations to keep it going are becoming harder to come by.

The parade organizers try to raise at least $2,000 annually, she said, but they usually have to dip into their own private accounts to pay for the parade. There is only so much they can afford.

Given how special the event is for our area, we hope people in the community will step up and help keep the event going for years to come. It would be a shame if local residents - young and old - did not have a chance to enjoy the parade.

Dozens of organizations normally are included in the parade, putting together holiday-themed floats and handing out candy to delighted children.

Given the time required to plan the spectacular event, people should begin to show their support for next year's parade now.

While the city of Johnstown may have the financial resources to support the parade, Mayor Sarah Slingerland already has said the parade should stay privately controlled and not be directly funded by the city. We agree. City property owners already are being taxed for enough.

It will be up to members of the public who care about the parade, and what it brings to our community during the holiday season, to see that its sights and sounds enliven downtown in coming years.



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