Did you have fun at Eden Prairie's Independence Day celebration this year? Just wait: The city's Fourth of July celebration might be an even bigger spectacle in 2020 if the parade Mayor Ron Case suggested for next year's event comes to pass.
"The day was great but it was slow going, a slow start," Case said of this year's event at a July 16 City Council meeting. A parade could give the celebration a solid beginning, he said, and be an opportunity to display Eden Prairie's community assets: "The chance to have a parade ... would highlight and showcase the high school, the schools, the Chamber of Commerce."
"From what I can tell and from what others have told me, this would be (Eden Prairie's) first (parade)," Parks and Recreation Director Jay Lotthammer told Eden Prairie News.
The idea is still in early stages, but later Case attended the Hopkins Raspberry Festival's parade for inspiration, he said, and has asked Lotthammer to look into how a parade might come together.
- Who's in charge? Oftentimes, a local organization − like a community foundation, Lion's club or Rotary club − organizes the parade rather than the city itself, Lotthammer said.
- What's in the parade? Case suggested a variety of appearances, like the Eden Prairie High School marching band and cheerleaders, the city's police and fire department, and local businesses and nonprofits.
- Where would it be? Case suggested a route from the EPHS parking lot to Round Lake Park, where the other Independence Day festivities are held. A smaller kiddie parade might join the parade from the Community Center to Round Lake Park.
- How is it paid for? "Sponsorship is a pretty large part," Lotthammer said.
- Why have a parade? Combined with a fireworks show, it could bookend the Fourth of July celebration, Case said. Plus, "it's a chance to show off the community," he added.
The first year would likely be a growing year, Case told Eden Prairie News.
"I don't have expectations, nor anyone from this city, that this year would be 110% of what we want it to be," he said.