Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Supply and demand for town festivals 

The WWW Fest (or Wheels, Wings and Water, as it was called for many years) will come to an end as St. Cloud's city festival after this year. The St. Cloud Times thinks this is a bad thing. Get the list of things we'll "miss".
There are no fireworks or laser light shows, no strongman competition, no youth-oriented events like those at Lake George in recent years, no water-based events, no Saturday outdoor concert or food festival, and no celebrations of Central Minnesota�s growing diversity.
Yes, I gave you a hint. What the hell is that doing in the list? It's just one more example of the many genuflections this paper, city and university due to the PC crowd in town.

Is it sad? The next paragraph gives you a clue why not.
The fact that WWWFest�s swan song comes the same year the city turns 150 years old only adds to the sense of melancholy � as does the fact that neighbors St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park all seem to have stable � if not thriving � community celebrations.
City festivals (I prefer that to "community celebrations", as the latter sounds like one of those mandatory Soviet rallies) are paid by volunteer efforts. People living in smaller cities gain more for their dollar contributed than those living in the larger places. And I've argued that much of south St. Cloud is becoming a bedroom community for the Twin Cities. There's less and less loyalty to the place.

As an example of the availability of substitutes, I note only that demand for my time in parades (for the church float, Littlest's school float, and for various political candidates) is at an all-time high. One of these events had to go.

At least the current city government hasn't decided to step in and use taxpayer dollars to substitute. Good bye, Wheels Wings and Water.