High schools dispute claim that no marching bands had registered for parade

The annual event was canceled because of the lack of entries.

Posted on Aug. 30, 2014 at 6:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore expressed regret Friday, Aug. 29, after local high school band leaders disputed claims that no area marching bands had registered to participate in the city’s Labor Day Parade.

The parade was canceled because of a lack of entries.

In a story in Friday’s edition that appeared online Thursday night, parks superintendent Karin Frey said a lack of entries was the reason for the cancellation. She did not mention whether there were marching bands participating.

But Tony Flora, president of the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO, remarked it would be hard to have a parade without any marching bands.

But representatives of three bands — Central, Memorial and Concord — indicated they had registered to participate.

Frey said Friday they had no paperwork from any marching bands.

Moore said he had heard from some of the high school officials who contend they had registered for the parade that had been scheduled for Monday.

Moore, who resurrected the traditional parade three years ago, said he regrets the circumstances.

Moore said he takes their word that they attempted to register for the parade.

“Something fell through the cracks, and I’m not very proud of it,” Moore said.

Employees with the parks department checked paperwork Friday morning after reading online comments from representatives of the band complaining.

Readers began complaining online Thursday night and directed their anger at unions, parade organizers, The Elkhart Truth and even poked fun at President Barack Obama.

Frey said the decision to cancel the parade had more to do with the low number of entries than the lack of marching bands. She said they only received nine applications.

Going ahead with parade plans with such few entries, Frey said, “would look bad for all of us.” 

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