On Saturday, April 14, my family went to my sister’s house and walked to Verdugo Avenue to watch the annual Burbank on Parade. I mainly participate in viewing the parade in order to spend time with my family more than the excitement of the parade itself. While there is an appeal to a small-townish parade with civic leaders filling in for celebrities, BOP is an embarrassment to a city as wonderful as Burbank.
With “The World of Aviation” as its theme, I was hard pressed to notice the theme what with all the police, fire, and emergency vehicles driving down Olive with their lights and sirens on.
I don’t intend to demean the organizers and volunteers that must put in countless hours organizing the event. I just don’t get why all the free publicity on professionally printed banners for the various local and national businesses ... and what exactly do they do for the parade?
There was a fire truck from the Walt Disney Studios. Wow! Not even an obligatory guy in a Mickey Mouse costume to wave to the children.
Not a single entry from Universal/NBC, by the way. What, asking one of their on-air personalities to sit in a vintage car is to too much of a favor?
Think about what all the big companies have gotten out of having their corporate headquarters located in Burbank. Think of all the increased traffic that has come out of their presence. And for one hour for an entire year, these corporate giants can’t provide more of an effort in being a part of the community? Warner Brothers likewise had one of their fire vehicles in the parade but at least provided a waving Bugs Bunny.
What’s ironic is that the people who judiciously followed the aviation theme were the volunteers like the family who drove a van with handmade wings jutting out of both sides of the vehicle.
I’m not privy to how much money a “sponsor” provides for the BOP, but where does the money go? To the City to pay for street closures and police patrols?
Of the 198 “entries”, 19 were banners. In other words, 10% of the parade was watching boy and girl scouts holding up advertisements. The only real float came at the end of the parade by those hearty Burbank Tournament of Roses Association volunteers who always capture an award on New Year’s Day.
It is shameful that Disney, NBC, and Warner Brothers can’t offer more than that. Burbank deserves better.
BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher. He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.