Citing a difficult economic climate for fundraising and West College Drive construction, Brainerd Community Action announced Friday it is cancelling the annual Fourth of July parade in Brainerd.
For the past 35 years, Brainerd Community Action reports it has coordinated and been involved with the fundraising for the week-long Brainerd/Baxter 4th of July celebration.
It has never been difficult to fund raise for this celebration until now, said Nancy Cross, Community Action director.
“Brainerd Community Action is not part of the city of Brainerd, nor are we a department of the chamber,” Cross wrote in an email. “We are a nonprofit corporation that took on the 4th of July celebration at the request of Mayor George Bedard in 1987. Every year we have to spend the money before we raise the money. Every year it is an educated guess if we are going to come out in the red or black.
“Every year more and different challenges are put before us in order to provide a safe event for all who attend. For several years the economy has not the best, so donations are down considerably. Another factor impacting this year’s celebration is that West College Drive will be under construction. With the construction of West College Drive and after reconsidering other parade route options, the board has determined that there is no safe way to have a 4th of July Parade in 2012.”
Despite not being able to have the annual parade, Brainerd Community Action reported it would like to uphold the tradition of Brainerd’s celebration with entertainment and fireworks.
“With donations down, we are having a difficult time raising the money to pay for that portion of the celebration,” Cross reported. “In order for the entertainment and fireworks to happen in 2012, we need to raise an additional $15,000 by May 3.”
Other events will continue as usual, such as: the June 28 Little Miss/Mister; June 29 Show ‘n’ Shine; June 30 Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure, Miss Brainerd/Baxter Scholarship Pageant; July 1 38th annual Arts in the Park; July 2 Right Friends Picnic; and July 3 Gospel Night.
Community Action still needs to fill 50 booth spaces for Arts in the Park.
“If we cannot raise the additional $15,000 to cover the cost of the fireworks and entertainment by May 3rd, the money that has been raised to date will be placed in a designated fund for a 4th of July celebration for 2013,” Cross stated. “We sincerely believe that the Brainerd celebration is a treasured tradition that should continue and every dollar raised an important one.”
Cross said people who want to see another “amazing Brainerd/Baxter 4th of July American Celebration” may send a tax deductible contribution to: Brainerd Community Action, 213 S. Fifth St., Brainerd, MN 56401.