Public notes changes to Fourth of July festivities

by Peter Weinberger |

Fourth of July round two

In my job you can recognize how important an issue or concern is by the number of people who share their opinion on a particular subject. That has clearly happened with Claremont’s Fourth of July festivities.

The issue came up without any prodding last Friday during my Courier presentation at the Rotary Club of Claremont. The initial takeaway is people who attended Claremont’s Fourth celebration this year noticed a drop in attendance across the board, from the parade to the fireworks show. They also felt the city was sending mixed messages because of talk on employee overtime issues from a budget that was said to be in good shape. There were also concerns of the impact on Village businesses open that day.

With the morning 5k race pushed to another day and the parade held earlier at 10 a.m., the synergy from one event to the other was gone. Fourth of July Committee volunteerism was down about 75%, which impacts not only the parade, but the contribution volunteers make to other events.

The solutions discussed were simple: return the 5k to the morning of Fourth of July and the parade to 4 p.m. so more people can participate and make it a family holiday, while including and promoting what volunteers can do to help.

I realize Claremont must make hard financial choices on occasion in order to keep our city financially sound. But these decisions have public consequences beyond simply hitting budget projections. Do we really want a crammed Claremont Club parking lot full of people who would rather watch Upland’s fireworks show? There’s nothing wrong with this at all, but does it say something about Claremont’s festivities?

No one wants to see interest in Fourth of July events spiral down out of control. But right now there are voices who believe that’s exactly where it’s going.


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