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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 10, 2008 10:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland needs a new motto. The next post in this blog is Nothing stops greed. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Did the duct tape ban hurt parade attendance?

Fireman Randy's crusade to stop people from marking off places along the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade route may have satisfied his burning desire for law and order. But attendance seemed to be down this year, and some folks are thinking that the inability to reserve a spot may have kept people home. Certainly sounds plausible.

Comments (25)

I think attendance was more likely down because of spotty weather and that KGW was broadcasting it in Hi-Def for the first time.

I'm not buying the weather argument. The weather wasn't that bad this year compared with many recent years.

I think Leonard's crusade is silly in the extreme, but also have always thought the idea of "reserving" a chunk of sidewalk days in advance wasn't really in the spirit of the parade either. To that end, I always thought it was more fun to get together with a few friends the night before the parade, down a few drinks (or maybe more than a few), and just walk the route, pulling up tape as we went. Inevitably we would become bored with this routine after just a couple blocks, but it was fun while it lasted.

I think the lower attendance can be explained by the fact that parking is *absolutely atrocious* downtown right now and people didn't want to deal with it.

Maybe it was due to the Rose Fesitval not being as important anymore...

The daughter and I biked downtown and stood at the corner of Burnside and MLK to watch the parade. We arrived at 10:30 or 11. I was OK but she shivered about half the time and we both wondered about the poor float riders in their evening gowns. I say attendance was off because of "global warming".

It is difficult for me to understand why the O is making such a huge deal over the ban. I agree with you, nate, that the practice lacks something and that Randy could spend his time better. I am optimistic that he is involved in the animal services issue with the county, though extremely disappointed that a new task force has been appointed featuring many of the foxes that ought to be investigated instead of calling the shots at the henhouse. I wrote to Randy and Ted and am hoping I won't be ignored, because what I am asking for is that truth seeking be elevated over public relations and am confident that that is what the public wants, whether members like animals or not.

I've said it once, I'll say it again: too many rodeo queens.

I've always thought the idea of chaining up lawn chairs and taping off as much as a half block of sidewalk days in advance of the parade was stictly "small town rube nonsense". This sort of thing is not allowed in larger cities such as San Francisco and New York; and they don't allow that to happen either at the New Year's Day Parade in Pasadena,CA either. I'm sure that a few of the "saved" seat folks didn't show up; but frankly most people that have seen the parade a few times no longer bother. And yes, parking is horrid downtown right now too. Lots of blocks baricaded off for construction and lots of legal parking spaces taken over for construction - even when no vehicles are present.

I agree with PDXRenter, besides no parking, you can't get from there to here without four or five detours. The downtown core is chaos with potholes.

Many people were out buying condos.

Might it also be true that people who have not heretofore attended the event went this year because they knew they had a fighting chance of being able to see the parade?

It is now clear that anybody may ignore any tape on sidewalks or streets when selecting their locale for parade-watching. If somebody shows up and says that they reserved it, they can now be told to sod off.

I think Randy's done everybody a service.

Now, if we could just get some zealous dog owners to acknowledge that every city park is not their dog's playground (and toilet), things might actually improve. That, or allow rural enforcement of off-leash dogs where they don't belong.

And, Brandon?

One rodeo queen is too many rodeo queens.

Give me the St. Johns Parade any day. It still has an community-inclusive, small town feel and is not sold to the highest bidder. The duct taping isn't a longstanding Rose Festival tradition. Nobody taped spaces out ahead of time when we watched the parade as kids. Folks just came early in the morning and everybody let anybody's small kids sit near the front so that they could see. That's the way it should be. Things have changed, though. I still miss the Fun-A-Rama Parade, the Merrykana Parade, the Portland Rainmakers and the Junior Rose Festival Court which included princes as well as princesses. Damn, just dated myself.

I agree Brandon;those who came up with the ide aof bucking broncos definitely had too much time on their hands.

Gosh Nate, thanks for your civic duty.

Along with the other Merc hipsters, get drunk, get rowdy, and rip up tape.

But I assume you don't actually attend, right? You just like to try to tell other people what to do.

Real classy.

Gee, joh, what's it to you? The tape means absolutely nothing...the people who put it down thought they could tell others what to do, so if it was torn up, they got their just desserts.

Randy is as worthless as a cow with one tit.

The true proponents of fiscal responsibility in Portland would argue that instead of having police spend time enforcing duct tape bans, the City could auction off sidewalk space in advance to the highest bidder and then use the proceeds to clean up the route, fix potholes, etc.

Montgomery P--you are right! I grew up in the metro area in the 70s and early 80s and no one taped the sidewalks. You got there early for prime viewing space, and friendly folks let the little ones scootch up front to see. Portland has changed much since then, some for the better, but often for not.

After months of mocking the duct tape ban, I gotta say that I've reversed my thinking. As much as I hate to see another quirky Portland tradition go by the wayside, there really is no good reason why people should be able to hold a piece of sidewalk for a week with no investment other than 15 minutes worth of taping. Want a prime spot? Sit your ass down there in a chair for a night or two. In years past, I've stayed away from the parade, specifically because of all the taping and my perceived notion that finding a spot would be impossible.

One other very important point - Bring on the rodeo queens, I love 'em. Big hair, big hats, big makeup, big horses - what's not to love?

Montgomery Parker - You mentioned the Fun-O-Rama parade... if you mean the Gateway one, it's still going strong.

maybe the population of portland is decreasing as people bail out.

maybe people are just feeling too rotten and petrified about loosing their life savings in the real estate con game. now it's greasy oil and food. no wonder people don't feel like partying.

Did anyone rip up the Hilton's tape?

Larry - you're right. The Fun-O-Rama Parade was missing in action for years and I heard that they brought it back a couple of years ago. Yes, it's the Gateway area parade and was mostly for kids. Glad to hear it's still happening.


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