Op-Ed: Fiesta Parade Route is a Confused Mess

By Pat Fish

Dear Mayor Rowse & Councilmembers;

I am deeply concerned that the Fiesta Parade route this year may be a confused mess.

I have been emailing the Old Spanish Days organization for months, after it was announced that the parade would return, asking about what the new route would be, bypassing the State Street parklet zone.

Yesterday I got this from Maria Jimenez, Parade Coordinator: “The return route is from Calle Puerto Vallarta to Castillo St on Cabrillo Blvd.” 

Who thought this through and decided that the best possible route would be to have the parade go across the beach, floats and carriages and marching bands pile up at Milpas, and then come BACK along the same route???????

I believe that there is a huge potential for confusion and accidents with the crowds getting up and leaving, and the large number of horses walking back through a disorganized street. Another option would be taking a back street return route, winding its way through the industrial and Funk zone back over to State and then down to the starting point. That is what I expected.

Alternatively this was the chance to give Milpas a way to claim the Fiesta Parade as a Mexican event. Was it even considered possible to have it staged at SB High School, proceed down Milpas, across Cabrillo and end up back at Pershing? That would allow for horse haulers to move their rigs from SBHS to the SBCC lot. 

Fiesta is something the City should do well, and lacking State Street as a route should have inspired creative thinking to make a new tradition. I personally favor bringing Milpas forward as a logical route, celebrating what has always been the Hispanic Main Street of town, and then proceeding across the beach. 

Too late now for this year, and this parade will go down as the year of the reverse and repeat. But I encourage the Government to make a new and better tradition for the next Fiesta.

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