After 36 years of celebrating all that is Burbank, the board of directors of Burbank on Parade has decided it's time to end the longstanding event and dissolve the organization.
Though event organizers added a family festival as part of the festivities in recent years to try to bring in more sponsors, the rising costs of public safety have reached a point where it is too much for officials to afford, said Carey Briggs, who was the president of Burbank on Parade the last five years.
"We're having to spend $60,000 to throw a parade, and most of that is to keep the public safe from each other," Briggs said on Tuesday. "The water barricades, police and general public safety — the cost of public safety is huge."
Briggs said public-safety measures were important not only for parade-goers, but for participants and animals involved each year.
He added that events such as the Ringling Bros. circus are popular for a certain amount of time but are bound to come to an end, and Burbank on Parade, he said, is an event that can no longer continue because of rising costs.
"Burbank on Parade is the only parade that I know that was a community parade," Briggs said. "It wasn't wrapped around Veterans Day or any other holiday. It was wrapped around the community. The community was great, and they supported us for years, but it just becomes time when it's no longer feasible to raise a whole lot of money to keep people safe on both sides of the parade."
Burbank Mayor Will Rogers said that, although the parade will be missed, the city is facing an ongoing budget deficit and does not have the resources to resuscitate the event at this time.
As a 10-year volunteer with the parade, Briggs said discontinuing the annual tradition is a big loss for him and for every volunteer who has given time to make the parade possible year after year.
The parade was typically held every April and showcased various organizations from Burbank.
When asked if the parade might return in the future, Briggs responded briefly, "That'll all be in [Burbank] Parks and Recreation's hands."