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Letter: I love a parade, but not the time

To the Editor:

Everyone loves a parade. Parades are the once a year events that seem to bring the entire community together to celebrate the heritage that belongs to that particular community and thus becomes a tradition over the years. Traditions are important because they help keep the community focused on their identity as a community. Changing traditions can be a risky thing because it can disrupt aspects of the community that identify it.

I share this because the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce seems to not understand this concept. I remember several years ago when the New Richmond Fun Fest held its parade on Sunday afternoons, the street were lined down Knowles Avenue with people, not only watching the parade but also socializing with it. It was as if the entire community was connected together for that event. In fact, anyone driving through New Richmond on Knowles Avenue the day before, or Sunday morning, had to wonder why all the folding chairs were placed neatly on the boulevards. Anyone in the community knew the anticipation was building and wanted to assure that a good spot was reserved for them.

Now I am not suggesting that we necessarily return to the Sunday afternoon parade, as I am sure there were reasons for moving it and leaving the traditional parade route down North Knowles Avenue. What deeply saddens me is the violation of sacred traditions by changing the time on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. First Lutheran Church and Immaculate Conception Church have had church services at 5 p.m. for years. We were never contacted for advice and obviously the Chamber did not consider these traditions as an important part of this community, as many people will hold to the sacred tradition of Saturday afternoon 5 p.m. church while the parade is going on.

One can begin to see and understand that someone in the New Richmond Chamber doesn't understand or struggles with the concept of tradition and community. I realize that nothing can be changed for this year, but changes can be made next year to accommodate the present traditions we have and make better plans to bring us together during this one big event in our community. May I suggest we help the Chamber with our positive feedback in helping them better understand these wonderful concepts of tradition and community, so that we can all love a parade?

Rev. James Brinkman

Pastor of Immaculate Conception and

St. Patrick's Church