Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 18:02
Organizers say lack of volunteers has made it impossible to continue event that welcomes holidays
It’s the end of an era in Belgium, at least temporarily.
Instead of its traditional Christmas parade on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the Belgium Community Club will sponsor a house decorating contest and a children’s Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 7.
Community Club President Mike Bley said membership was down and it wouldn’t be possible to run the parade this year.
“It’s tough when you only have 10 or so people to work on it,” Bley said. “The general consensus in the town is that everyone will miss it.”
Bley said he isn’t sure whether another group would consider running the parade again next year.
Belgium Chamber of Commerce President Jay Lauer said it was “too bad” that the parade wouldn’t happen this year, saying the chamber wouldn’t be able to run it at this time.
“The Community Club has done a phenomenal job in the past with this,” Lauer said. “We’re sad that they won’t be able to do it this year.”
Lauer said the chamber is involved in too many other initiatives at this time to consider putting on the parade.
“We’re trying to put together an economic development plan for the village and that is taking a lot of time for us,” Lauer said. “The reason you have a chamber is to change the economics and the way you do that in a small town is by attracting employers.”
Belgium Village President Rich Howells said it was “sad to hear the Community Club would not be putting on the Christmas parade this year.”
“I have my fingers crossed that the Christmas parade will return next year bigger and better than before,” he said.
The Christmas party will take place Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Belgium Fire Department, 195 Commerce St., from 1 to 4 p.m., with cookie decorating, crafts, letters to Santa and a visit with him, club member Sally Bley said.
“We wanted to do something and we’ve always been about doing stuff for kids,” Mike Bley said.
The decorating contest will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. the same night, with cash prizes given to first, second and third place finishers.
Entry forms for the decorating contest can be picked up at Belgium Hardware, Port Washington State Bank and How Dea gas station.