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Letter: Things lacking at Autumnfest parade

October 19, 2010

I would like to comment on the Autumnfest parade.
The parade was great more or less, but unfortunately was not without its faults. The day turned out to be a beautiful autumn day, perfect for the parade, which I have watched live for many years from different venues including as a participant. I have worked for some of the food vendors and walked the park many times. I have enjoyed the fireworks displays and watched as the teams have competed for trophies.
I must say, though, there were a few things lacking and some in excess. Politicians are always in excess, especially in an election year, but this year they all seemed bored and some actually not involved.
The signs on the different cars and floats were definitely lacking. If I didn’t know Sen. Picard, I would not have known he was there. I, by the way, saw the parade from the beginning at the plaza. I did not expect performances, but was at times pleasantly surprised by them, especially from all the high school bands, which never disappoint.
I appreciate Ichabod Crane for always showing up, coming from upstate N.Y. to perform. I am a former member of the BMR band parents, so needless to say they were outstanding.
The main reason for my letter was the headliner band, which seemed to be non-existent in the parade, and not one peep from anyone as to why they were not here. I also heard that BMR was moved to the last division to replace them. I would have to say that if this was a last-minute decision, then bravo because they did their best in the face of minor adversity and short preparation.
I would like to close by saying I will always attend the parade to support our high school, the military, and the many youngsters who are thrilled with the ability to show off their talents. It, to me, should never be a showcase for politicians, but there needs to be a little more organization and designation so we know who, what and why they are there.
But, a sincere thanks for all the hard work from the volunteers for their efforts and I hope there are many more parades to come.

Tony Catalano
Woonsocket

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