To the editor:
It has been 16 years since I started the Eldridge Hotel Old Fashioned Christmas Parade. My dream was to start a tourism event involving something I love dearly — horses — and to make it an annual event.
I now spend my time at the Victorian Veranda Country Inn, just north of town, but each year at this time I wonder about the parade and how things are going. Reading the Journal-World, I saw where this was going to be the best parade ever and that the City of Lawrence had become involved made me extremely proud.
Probably the most exciting was the fact that Elaine VanDeventer had become involved as chairman and that Phil Bradley was helping. I have known Elaine for many years and know a top-shelf person is in charge and that having Phil Bradley at her side will assure success.
But we must look past the organizers and look close at the participants, for without them, there is no parade. These are the people who take care of their animals all year long and put out hundreds of dollars each year to come to Lawrence and help our community kick off the Christmas season. These people spend countless hours in preparation for an event.
What do the participates and organizer want and need? They just want a big “Thank you” and a big crowd. With this, the parade will be here for a long time.