Albert Lea parade costs an arm and a leg

Published 10:37 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

Have you seen what it costs to be in the Third of July parade in Albert Lea?

For individual non-business it’s $50, politicians it’s $100, for commercial non-Chamber members it’s $100, and for non-profit organizations it’s $100.

And, it’s double the entry fee if you sign up late!

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I would like to know how that encourages individuals, non-profits, groups and small businesses to get involved in our community celebrations.

I am 24 years old and a small business owner who was born and raised here. My goal in my photography business is to be community-oriented. How can I do that when it costs an arm and a leg to be involved? When I hear the word commercial I think big business and lots of employees. That’s not me, but that’s the fee I have to pay. I am one person working out of my home. I don’t even charge that much for some of my sessions!

I get that someone has to pay for the prizes that are awarded for the best floats, but are those even necessary? Or does there need to be so many? If you aren’t familiar with the prize part of the parade, $300 is awarded to the best overall float. $150 is awarded to first place in two categories and $100 is awarded to second place in three categories. There’s a People’s Choice Award, too, but that one is sponsored. Good grief.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I would be much happier if there were no prizes and a cheaper entry fee, if any at all. I didn’t want to get involved in the parade so that I could be a big winner of something. I wanted to be in the parade to be a part of the community and celebrate the holiday.

In comparison, I just wrote a check to participate in Wind Down Wednesday. I am happy to be a part of that because for $120 I get to be out in the community three days this summer for a total of 30 hours. That seems fair, especially because I get to use electricity at my booth.


Brandi Hagen