Monday, June 6, 2011

A birthday bash to remember

For the first time in ten years the Amherst July 4 Parade is steaming towards showtime free of political fireworks. Yes, hard to believe in Amherst we can now actually have a civic celebration with all the pomp and circumstance minus the minions who think any event on public property is fair game for pushing a political agenda.

After a hiatus of 26 years, the July 4 Parade was revived in 2002--that dark time immediately following 9/11--as a venue for thanking civilian public safety and military personnel who routinely lay their lives on the line to perform their duty: keeping our citizens safe.

The traditional Parade is a loud, festive and fun affair--especially for children. Again this year the patriotic showcase will feature marching bands, color guards, farm equipment, dancing horses, politicians, firetrucks, police cruisers, and military hardware, including F-15 fighter jets, those magnificent war birds from Barnes Air National Guard in Westfield.

The July 4 Parade launches at 3:00 PM starting on South Pleasant Street near Amherst College Orr Rink and ambles directly through town center all the way to Triangle Street. The Parade Committee is made up entirely of unpaid volunteers and it's financed via private donations from individuals and businesses.

Contributions can be sent to: July 4 Parade Committee, PO Box 2145, Amherst, Ma 01004


Anonymous said...


Is it only "the minions who think any event on public property is fair game for pushing a political agenda?"

Appears that you, too, are pushing a political agenda: How are your words describing the parade as "the patriotic showcase" not political?

It's ok that they are political. What better time to act freely in a free society than on that country's birthday.

We celebrate our individual independence as well as the country's.

If you think speaking political views at any time is problematic, then you are about as far from what the United States of America truly means as one can be.

It isn't about you being free to express your patriotism. It's about everyone being free to express whatever poltical idea they want.

Isn't it?

LarryK4 said...

No actually it is not. And the Supreme Court by a 9-0 vote reaffirmed that, and our local ACLU used it effectively to squash Larry Shaffer's idea to "take over" the Parade not too long ago.

A private organization can run a public event with RULES.

And like the town sponsored 250th Parade two years ago, the rules say marchers have to stay within the spirit of the event.

If you wish to spout off on abortion, religion or war protest, feel free to have your own parade.

Anonymous said...

Well said Larry, I highly doubt many of these groups could find enough participants to have their own parade. And if they think they can why don't they? Oh yeh it's hard work and they don't want to put in the countless hours requiered to pull this type of event off.