Normally in this week’s issue you would see scenes from last weekend’s annual Hamtramck Labor Day Festival.
Normal is no longer normal in the age of COVID.
The pandemic has caused a lot of events to be canceled this year – both nationwide and locally.
The Labor Day Festival is also on the list of casualties.
Of course, the loss of events and sports and concerts pale in comparison to the number of deaths this horrible disease has caused. At this point it is over 190,000.
Our heart goes out to the families of those who’ve died.
Perhaps, there is one good thing this disease has brought about: we can now review what is really important to all of us.
And that should include the future of the Labor Day Festival.
We’ll say this again, like the proverbial broken record, but there needs to be a serious look taken at how this festival is handled.
Organizers have been volunteers over the years, and all of them did outstanding jobs – considering the huge odds they have face.
Every year, we are at the mercy of both the weather and the fickle tastes of festivalgoers.
Somehow, the festival squeaks by financially. But if there is ever a year when the festival is a total rainout, its future would be in grave doubt.
So, we will once again plead for city officials to take a greater role in backing this festival. It is clearly an important event for the city, and helps greatly in promoting Hamtramck.
It is an asset, but it is treated at arms-length by city officials.
Instead of distancing themselves, the city should embrace this festival and give it the financial security it deserves.
Volunteers work tirelessly, around-the-clock, and it is ridiculous to expect that.
We would hope that city officials – and we’re looking at the city council here – will roll up their sleeves, and take a closer look at how to make this a more civic-backed event.
Sept. 11, 2020