People who work in the public eye are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.
We were, admittedly, surprised by some of the frustrations voiced by people who said the Zebulon Christmas parade wasn’t good enough for their tastes.
Last Sunday afternoon’s parade was neither too short, nor too long. After all, how many horses do we really need to see pass by? And how many pickup trucks, adorned with a strip of greenery and a sign advertising a local business do we really want to watch coast past us at 2 mph?
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More importantly, though, Zebulon Chamber of Commerce leaders have made a commitment to expand the community’s holiday programming. And that’s a good thing. For the first time in our memory, Zebulon lit a community Christmas tree in the heart of downtown Zebulon in a short ceremony that brought out just a small crowd. And the chamber put one of the vacant storefronts to use for a pop-up market to give people another reason to come downtown.
The new events were understandably small in their first year, but they mark a noticeable effort by the chamber to bring people downtown in support of merchants who have been longtime, ardent supporters of the chamber and the business community as a whole. The new events also give people an opportunity to take part in other Christmas-related events rather than simply squeezing into a parking place downtown, watching a parade and going home. Sadly, that’s what most people do.
We trust that those people who were unhappy with the length of this year’s parade will be among the first to call the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce next fall and offer their services as volunteers to recruit more parade entrants and to serve as guides along the parade route to eliminate gaps that often occur and to go out in the darkness the morning of the parade to mark starting positions and clear streets and pick up trash.
That kind of volunteer power will surely make for a parade everyone can be happy about. And, then, perhaps those new volunteers can show up the night before to visit the pop-up market and hang around for a while after the parade to help usher in the season at next year’s Christmas tree lighting.