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Plan early, often for Twin Cities parade

Last year saw the cancellation of the Fiesta Parade in Rock Falls and Sterling. We encourage community leaders to plan early and often for its return.

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dixon marked the beginning of the 2013 parade season in the Sauk Valley.

And what a fine beginning it was.

Hundreds turned out to participate and watch Saturday’s parade. Green was the color of the day, from clothing and floats to banners and dyed water.

While the weather could have been warmer, people still enjoyed themselves.

That’s the idea of parades – a community gathering to cheer and marvel and laugh and applaud the moving cavalcade of entries.

We hope such a fun event returns to Sterling and Rock Falls this year.

The Fiesta Parade – the Twin Cities’ major annual parade – had to be canceled last year. Construction of the First Avenue bridge over the Rock River – a key portion of the parade route – wasn’t finished yet.

That was a major reason for canceling the parade, which had been slated for Sept. 15.

In addition, parade organizational duties, long the responsibility of the Latin American Social Club, were in the process of being handed over to the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce.

Given the circumstances, it was best to call the whole thing off for 2012.

But, given the parade’s importance to the community, we hope local leaders are well on their way toward firming up plans to resume the Fiesta Parade in 2013.

The route, stretching from First Avenue and 10th Street in Rock Falls to Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue in Sterling, switches directions every year.

In 2011, the parade started in Sterling, so it should begin in Rock Falls this time around.

The weather is still cold, but it’s not too early to plan how to fill Twin Cities streets with floats, bands, convertibles, Hispanic heritage, and spectators on a warm September afternoon.

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