For some 20 years Laurel has sponsored an annual town-wide 4th of July event. Once the largest 4th of July celebration, the last years have seen a reduction in crowds and vendors.
A special seven-member committee that has been overseeing the coordination of the event is recommending several changes to include:
Eliminate the July 3rd Block Party; move the parade from morning to around 5 p.m.; have a band perform n Market Square Park following the parade until the fireworks begin around dusk; allow a limited number of vendors to set up in the area of Market Square Park and Central Avenue around 4 p.m. prior to the parade, and to end the evening with a fireworks display.
I don’t think the vendors are going spend the time and money to set up for a couple hours, even food vendors.
What the committee didn’t say, is most town employees had to give up the day to be with their families to make sure the all day event went well. Not fair to them.
The event has been a pet project of Mayor John Shwed, but even he had to admit attendance has been falling off, and in the past few years the heat on that day has been a killer.
I think the committee’s recommendation is right on target. Times change, unless someone has a better plan, Laurel’s Mayor and Council should heed the committees recommendations.