Bloomberg News

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Donors Promise Cash to Save Parade

October 28, 2011

(Updates with cost of parade in third paragraph.)

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has raised enough money from donors to hold its holiday parade this year, according to an e-mailed statement from the city today.

The parade won’t require taxpayer funds, according to the statement.

The state capital, which is in bankruptcy and faces a state takeover of its finances, had called off its Nov. 19 parade last week because sponsors hadn’t come up with the $45,000 cost and the city was unable to make up the money. It joined local governments from Palmyra, New Jersey, to Fresno, California, that are cutting or curtailing holiday parades, decorations and festivities, or shifting costs to civic groups and businesses.

U.S. cities project that combined revenue will fall 2.3 percent by year-end, the fifth-straight annual decline, the Washington-based National League of Cities said in a Sept. 27 report. Only 35 percent of counties passed balanced budgets for this fiscal year with no anticipated shortfalls, according to a survey released Oct. 20 by the National Association of Counties in Washington.

Harrisburg parks department Director Brenda Alton said residents and organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade helped raise the money needed for next month’s celebration.

“The parade is a holiday tradition and great event to draw visitors to the city of Harrisburg during the holidays,” said Mayor Linda Thompson in the statement. “We’re glad to see the community stepped up to support it.”

--Editors: Stephen Merelman, Ted Bunker

To contact the reporter on this story: Romy Varghese in Philadelphia at rvarghese8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net


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