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The power of the pen

November 28, 2008 - Steve Murch
The name escapes me. A few years ago a woman wrote a letter to the editor rhetorically asking why the annual holiday parade couldn’t take place in the evening. That one question certainly was worth the inquiry.

The woman asked why hold a parade in the morning when most people had to work. She laid out her argument that on top of the people who had to work, those who shopped early wouldn’t watch either. I don’t remember if she opined that the number of floats would grow or not.

The number of entries seems to grow each year now that the parade takes place in the evening after everyone gets out of work. There were a few thousand people who would line the streets for the morning parade.

The evening version ... several thousand are along Chisholm and Second. I took photos two of the last three years and stood in front of National City. There were hundreds of people in that one single block between Chisholm and Park Place. I just assumed there must be crowds up and down the parade route.

I ran to get something to eat just before 5 p.m. this afternoon, realizing of course that I’d wind up parking in the middle of nowhere when I got back. Wow, were there the people all over the place.

Who cares if it’s cold? Most everyone I saw was bundled in anticipation. One person had a shovel and was clearing a spot for lawn chairs.

While the Fourth of July parade has tens of thousands of people, I would guess that 4-5,000 people watch the holiday parade. Maybe more, who knows for sure.

Alpena is lucky to have two outstanding parades. The second one got better from a simple letter to the editor.


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