Gettysburg Borough Council president and Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) board member Jake Schindel asked GARA and the Gettysburg community Monday evening to come forward to keep the annual Halloween and Christmas parades going in Gettysburg.
Schindel said the 2020 parades are cancelled due to the pandemic and there are no plans for 2021.
“The parades are over,” said Schindel “There is no one who has signed up to take over these parades. I’m making one more plea for GARA to take over at least the Halloween parade.”
“A lot of nonprofits, including GARA, are changing because of COVID. We need to pick up the slack and start thinking outside of the box. If we don’t jump on board the parades will go away,” Schindel said.
GARA board member Robin Fitzpatrick said Gettysburg Times editor Alex Hayes, who has been coordinating the parade committee over the past years, has indicated he would not be doing it in the future.
Volunteering her support for some type of plan, Fitzpatrick said the existing parade committee members might be able to help out. “I’m totally in it, said Fitzpatrick. “It makes people happy.”
Board member Steve Niebler expressed concerns that GARA would be hurt financially by participating. “I chaired the Halloween parade for 17 years,” said Niebler. “it is a very difficult job. Raising money is not easy and coming up with manpower is also difficult. There were always hassles about the route.”
Board President Steve Toddes said he thought it was not a good financial decision for GARA to take on this project. “We’re lucky to be in the financial shape we are,” said Toddes.
“We did the skating rink last year and we were left holding the financial bag,” said Niebler.
“I think if this became a team effort it would be possible. People will want this event in the future,” said Schindel. “We just have make sure it makes money.”
The board discussed whether the Gettysburg Area Merchants Association, Main Street Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, or the Adams County Library System might contribute.
“If we had a couple partners, I’d be willing to do it,” said board member Jimmy Phelps. “I would think we could find a couple of other organizations to partner with.”
Charles Stangor is Gettysburg News’s Publisher and Editor in Chief.