EDITORíS DESK: Bring back the parade!

       I love a parade. I remember what a blast the St. Patrick's Day Parade used to be through Old Colorado City. Fact is, there technically hasn't been a parade like it since the O'Donnells made a business decision in 2007 to relocate the affair downtown - and that's because several of the Westside's longtime parade participants have boycotted it because of the move. Which is another feature of this whole saga that's compelling: Many folks over here identified with the parade as Westsiders. It was "our" parade. It even had misty legends around its origins. The tidy, organized crowd can claim to know it was 1984, because of the Coors sponsorship etc., but I always liked Jim Bloom Sr.'s story that the first one was actually in 1975, and the reason he knew was that his daughter was born in 1960 and so she only had a learner's permit but he let her drive in the parade anyway, just telling her to be sure not to hit anything. That's certainly a jollier way for a first parade than the O'Donnells' inaugural downtown effort in '07. What was it, seven people arrested? And how many nightsticks?
       Anyway, it's welcome news that the Old Colorado City merchants group appears to be interested in pursuing the creation of a new parade to fill the hole that Westsiders have been left with on St. Patty's Day for the last couple of years. Not that I think we should hold our breath. Sponsors with $15,000 to throw at a one- or two-hour bash are not easy to find in these recessionary times, and the merchants group itself is not exactly flush either, according to financial information its board shared at a recent general meeting.
       But it would be fun if the new parade could happen, even on a small scale. Historically speaking, the Westside has always been the hardest-working, hardest-playing part of town. A little more play wouldn't be a bad thing.

- K.J.