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Another Fremont parade in financial trouble

The Niles Festival of Lights Parade will go ahead rain or shine Friday.

But whether parade organizers at the Niles Merchants Association will have enough money to pay their vendors remains to be seen.

With the parade and Christmas tree lighting scheduled for Friday, the parade organizers are about $6,000 short of the $23,000 needed for the event. Event chairwoman, Marie Dear said that rising prices and decreased sponsorships account for the shortfall.

Excuse the pun, but helium prices are on the rise. And as the Fremont 4th of July and and Festival of India parade organizers learned this year, the city’s bill for staffing and policing parades has risen. Event Chairwoman Marie Dear was very diplomatic about that part. She wouldn’t even tell me the size of the increase.

It turns out that Niles businesses aren’t big contributors to the parade. Dear said she asked each business on Niles Boulevard to contribute just $25. Only 10 took her up on the offer. The biggest Niles contributors, she said, are The Florence, John Weed and the guy who owns the grocery store.

Fremont parades have been struggling this year. The A’s and Robson Homes helped bail out the July 4 parade, and the Festival of India Parade was cancelled due to lack of funds.

Anyway, anything in Niles is usually pretty fun, so if you want to help them out, call Dear at 792-8023

Matt Artz