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Yes, Virginia, there will be a 2004 parade

Joyce Rudolph

Burbank on Parade organizers have had a change of heart after meeting

with city officials, and will not abandon the annual event after 22

years.

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Several members of the parade’s original board of directors

pledged Tuesday to begin recruiting new volunteers and help stage the

parade in April with the city’s help.

“We left the meeting with very good feelings and a renewed

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optimism [about] working with the city in the future,” parade

Chairwoman Joanne Miller said.

Last month, several board members, including Miller, announced

plans to “cease organizing and conducting” the annual parade,

claiming a lack of participation on the part of the city.

In a letter to the city, the board criticized the Park, Recreation

and Community Services Department, along with those responsible for

licensing the event, for finding “more ways to hinder us rather than

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help us accomplish our objectives.”

Miller and several other board members met Friday with City

Manager Mary Alvord and Councilwoman Marsha Ramos in an attempt to

iron out their differences.

“The first point we wanted to make was that we were not holding

the city totally accountable for the reason we no longer wanted to

produce the parade,” Miller said. “We wanted to make it clear that no

matter how our letter read, it was not our intent to make the city

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the scapegoat.”

At the meeting, Alvord said board members got to voice their

frustrations about how hard it is to organize an event as volunteers.

They also said the event would be easier to produce if there was

more community support.

“I could tell they are tired, but they have their heart and soul

in doing the parade this year,” Alvord said. “It needs a lot of

support and people who care.”

Alvord said she told the committee she would appoint a city

staffer to serve as a parade liaison. That person would be

responsible for working with representatives from the police and

code-enforcement departments.

“We need someone who will get the problems solved and get the

event started,” Alvord said.

Alvord also said she intends to contact the Burbank Chamber of

Commerce to secure the business community’s support in putting on the

parade, which travels along Olive Avenue from Keystone to Lomita

streets.

Told of the decision by board members to recommit to the parade,

Alvord seemed pleased.

“Really? Really?” she said. “That’s wonderful!”


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