[UPDATED] In Wake of Cancellation, Bismarck Mayor Expresses Optimism for 2014 ND Autumnfest Parade
UPDATE, 9/12/14, 10:52am: Bismarck Mayor, Mike Seminary, just posted the following on our Facebook page:
Autumn Fest parade... we are working on a plan to keep 2014 parade on calendar!! When dealing with public safety many factors must be taken into consideration. I am confident we will be successful. Thanks for your understanding. Stay tuned!!!
In what would have been its ninth consecutive year, the annual ND Autumnfest Parade has been canceled just 10 days out due to a new policy stating that trains no longer have to stop for parades.
With the increased activity in the state, railroads are under more pressure to deliver goods in a timely manner, thus making it harder to accommodate parades that interrupt their routes.
Parade organizers and city officials attempted to plan a new route, but cited concerns with the short timeframe to get it done, ultimately deciding that 10 days was not enough time with all the factors that need to be considered. They also noted the length of the parade as a reason it would be difficult to change on such short notice.
Officials did express optimism for the parade in the future, saying they just need more time to research all available options.
Still, in a year where Mandan's famous Independence Day parade was canceled as well, the decision will probably not earn any favor among residents looking forward to lining the streets of Bismarck for what has become an annual tradition.