With all the chaos surrounding the Black Friday/Thanksgiving day shopping debacle, it looks like the real casualty will be the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. A parade that normally has over fifty floats and marching bands, had only two floats signed to parade as of yesterday. Making matters worse, the contract the city has with Santa Claus to bring up the rear of the parade may still have to be honored, costing the city $2500 plus expenses.
"Where are all the float entrants this year?" asked Mayor Ben Dover, via phone from Disney World, where he is celebrating after winning another term as Mayor. No one could answer his question though, as no one knew the answer. The Mayor said he is cutting short his vacation and will return to Bridgeport to help salvage the parade, but as gallant as that sounds, it's already too late.
|File photo from Bridgeport parade last year.|
Santa threw candy along the parade route.
Councilman Iken Doolittle and City Attorney Pat McGroin are in negotiations with Santa Claus about reducing his fee, because of the parade cancellation. Attorney McGroin expressed doubt about getting out of the contract however, because Santa had turned down other parade offers to participate in the Bridgeport parade.
It's looking like the city may be on the hook for the full amount plus, meaning the small print in the contract stipulates that if there is a cancellation of his services, he receives an extra $500 in punitive damages.
All in all it is a sorry mess and hopefully it will be brought under control in time for next year. Mayor Dover has promised that he will do all he can to make next year's parade, the best ever. Spoken like a true politician.
CHANNEL 1 NEWS will follow this story as it "unwinds".