Parade gains support from Rhinelander council
By Eileen Persike
The Rhinelander Common Council threw its support behind the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, scheduled to take place Saturday, March 13. The parade was canceled last year as COVID-19 was entering the state.
“Our people have had one year now to live in COVID conditions, make decisions, to be adults, to wash our hands, wear a mask – do what they feel is needed,” said Mayor Chris Frederickson when introducing the topic. “I would suggest moving forward and holding the parade.”
Alderman Thomas Barnett said that a year is long enough, and cited an increase in mental health issues in his recommendation to move forward with the parade.
“I know it’s still out there – everyone knows it is,” Barnett said. “I think people have gotten into a rhythm or a habit of wearing a mask if they choose to wear a mask, social distancing, washing their hands. I like to think that people are responsible.”
Barnett added that though people have the option to choose not to attend, he encourages everyone to attend, get out and have a good time. Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier told the council the department is expecting a large crowd anyway.
“We’re planning on having additional staff on so I see no reason not to have the parade,” Gauthier said.
Alderman Gerald Anderson suggested approving the parade “with a stipulation that we would encourage the organizers to encourage people to be safe about it.” No action was taken on Anderson’s suggestion.
The motion to support the parade passed unanimously.