ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The parade will go on. The Rockford City Council agreed Monday night to give the organizers of the Labor Day Parade the permit for the event. Aldermen say they're still being asked to pay $100 each to walk in the parade.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) – After more than 60 years in the Forest City, the Labor Day Parade may be leaving our downtown streets, if city leaders don’t approve the special use permit for the parade.
Aldermen aren’t happy about paying a fee to walk in it, but organizers say that money goes back to the kids in the community.
The Chairman says there will be a Labor Day Parade this year, but it’s not clear on if it will stay in Rockford. Organizers say they want to keep it here, but they’re struggling to come to an agreement with the city.
We’re told this is because some aldermen don’t like that they’re being asked to pay $100 each to walk in the parade and have a union member to sponsor them. A few aldermen say they question where that money goes, however parade chairman Jay Ferraro says it’s used as a donation to many of the local school bands and cheerleading teams who perform in the parade. Ferraro says it can help pay for things like uniforms.
“But it’s not the alderman’s money, it’s the citizen’s money. It’s for the citizen’s to have a good parade and bring it back to the community,” Ferraro said.
We spoke with a few aldermen who say they don’t agree with that because the city is paying nearly $12,000 for barriers and police security along the parade route.
Organizers say if they don’t get the permit, they would consider moving the parade to Loves Park or Machesney Park or somewhere else in Winnebago County.