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City OKs parade

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Leavenworth city commissioners have given the green light to this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Commissioners took no formal vote when they met Tuesday for a work session. But they reached a consensus to allow the parade to move forward.

“The community needs it,” Commissioner Mark Preisinger said.

The annual parade, which takes place in the downtown area, is organized by a private committee. But city permission is needed for the parade, which requires street closings.

This year’s parade is scheduled for noon March 17.

City officials canceled last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a Jan. 19 meeting, commissioners discussed whether to allow this year’s parade. At that time, Commissioner Mike Griswold suggested waiting two weeks before making a decision.

Griswold said Tuesday that he supports moving forward with the parade. He said data regarding COVID-19 cases in Leavenworth County “is going in the right direction.”

Organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade were asked to submit a COVID-19 mitigation plan to the city.

Organizers of the parade will be asking participants to wear masks and remain together in their entry groups.

Tim Scanlon, a coordinator for the parade, said candy will not be handed out during this year’s parade. In the past, some parade participants have walked along the route, handing out candy.

Griswold said city officials will rely on members of the public to wear masks as they watch the parade.

“I think they did it pretty well during the Veterans Day Parade,” he said.

The Veterans Day Parade took place in November in downtown Leavenworth.

Preisinger said the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be a great introduction to spring. He said COVID-19 will still be around, but organizers of the event are taking measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Mayor Pro-Tem Camalla Leonhard said she believes the event will bring the community together.

“And hopefully it will be a beautiful day,” she said.

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

• Reviewed proposed changes to regulations which would comply with state law regarding the placement of political signs.

• Received an update on efforts to establish a city land bank to help with the rehabilitation of blighted residential properties.

• Received an update about the status of a comprehensive plan that is being developed for the city.

• Discussed scheduling a goal-setting meeting for April 9.