The right call on Bel Air's July 4 parade [Editorial]

Those that came made the best of it – hamming it up for the crowds.

There's no question – the Bel Air Fourth of July parade Monday evening was certainly wet.

Organizers hoped the rain would let up as the parade began, but quite the opposite happened. Rain had been portended since the beginning of the weekend. Do they cancel? Do they stick with their plan? We can imagine what Bel Air Independence Day Committee members were thinking, or fretting, over.

The options were simple: either have the parade in the rain on Monday, July 4, as scheduled, or not have a parade at all.

Logistics on everyone's end – police patrols, setup and breakdown, transportation for the participants, spectators' plans – had already been set. How could the business of downtown Bel Air, the headquarters of the county government, be shut down Tuesday for a parade? There was no way it could be rescheduled – who would be there to see it?

Monday was a holiday. People had planned their day around going to the parade. When the rain started mid-afternoon, they had their choice – stay home, or go to the parade and sit in the rain. And if the rain got too bad, they could always pack up and leave.

Many, many people stayed home. Crowds that typically lined the sidewalks three and four people deep barely covered the curbs. But still, the people who wanted to see a parade, got to see a parade. Some groups chose not to participate – that's certainly their prerogative. Those that came made the best of it – hamming it up for the crowds.

We would venture a guess it would be hard to draw a day later the kind of crowd that did turn out Monday, when everyone was back to their usual weekday routine of work, sports and other daily activities. Fitting in a parade might have been difficult.

So really, the end result was the same. For those who didn't go to the parade, they didn't see it. If everyone couldn't go see it because it had been canceled, no one would've seen it. The parade was held and those who wanted to see it braved the rain and saw it. Those who didn't, didn't.

In the end, the Bel Air Independence Day Committee made the right decision. What other choice did they have?

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