Editorial: Parade praise

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and activities are a great way to welcome spring to Lawrence.

If you’re looking for a silver lining, this is it!

In the midst of the sequester, the Kansas Legislature, election issues, the weather that teases us with spring one moment and showers us with snow the next, there are positive things going on around us.

Fortunately, in Lawrence, we don’t have to go far to find them or enjoy them.

One of them is the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

On a day that was almost as unfavorable as the snowy, sleet-filled day in 1988 that greeted the inaugural event, Lawrencians gathered this year for the 26th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade down Massachusetts Street. Their goal was a good time with good intentions: benefiting the Lawrence Arts Center, the Ballard Center and the County Fair Swim Club, and their programs for children.

Over the years, the committee that’s responsible for the parade and its numerous fundraising efforts has shaken its pot of gold to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist worthwhile community organizations.

In the background of the bands and floats and cyclists and marchers are countless hours contributed by mainly anonymous volunteers. They put on everything from a poker night to a motorcycle poker run. Events include the Shamrock Shuffle 5K, a spelling bee, a trivia contest and a benefit auction. Plus there is support from sponsoring businesses and the contributions of numerous churches, bars, businesses and fraternal and charitable organizations, all of which assist directly or indirectly with the projects that help to raise money to be put to use in the community.

It’s unfortunate that it literally rained on the parade this year, but that’s Kansas for you. At least it wasn’t blanketed by snow like it would have been a week later. We look forward to the sequence of activities that will lead up to next year’s parade secure with the confidence that nothing is likely to dampen the unrestrained enthusiasm of folks bent on having a good time for a good cause.

Well done!