During a meeting last night, the Easter Week Festival committee voted 7-4 to continue the traditional Easter Sunday afternoon parade for 2014 — a recurring spring holiday celebration that dates back in St Augustine to the early 1950′s.
During the June 24, 2013 meeting of the St Augustine City Commission, Easter Week Festival committee President, Phil Genovar, made his plea that commissioners waive new fees that would have taken the permit costs for the Easter Parade from $25 to about $5,000; saying that the non-profit, volunteer organization could not produce the parade.
Relief came on October 28 when the Easter Parade, and three other parade events, had a total of $15,915.50 in new fees waived — at least for the coming year.
Some on the commission asked that the Easter Week Festival committee make a concession; although it was not a condition of the fee waiver. City officials claimed that parking restrictions necessary to hold the Sunday afternoon parade hurt local businesses; asking if the committee would consider rescheduling future parades to Saturday morning.
Last night’s split vote by the Easter Week Festival committee does not accommodate the city’s request; leaving some to wonder if the fee waiver will continue for the 2015 parade.
Genovar said he’s talked to a number of downtown businessmen who prefer the Sunday parade. Some stores do not open at all on Easter Sunday, many of the establishments who do open, do so later in the day.
Genovar did promise to get further community input before any final decision is made; but as far as 2014 is concerned, the Easter Sunday parade will be held on Easter Sunday.