Tuesday, September 23, 2003

No East Side conspiracy in Tall Stacks parade route

It is unfortunate that Tony Lang ("Tall Stacks/West Side snub?" Sept. 19) and Pete Ridder have decided to frame a change in the routing for the Parade of Tall Stacks as an East/West thing, but it is totally incorrect to suggest that the routing change was made in an effort to "snub" the West Side. The change in the routing for the Parade of Tall Stacks was made, with unanimous support from the 30 person Tall Stacks River Operations Committee, for several reasons:

1. The new Parade of Tall Stacks route was implemented so that optimal viewing will be available to the thousands of Tall Stacks patrons who gather to view the Parade at the Public Landing and Serpentine Wall. The Parade of Tall Stacks event was never designed nor intended to be a "residential viewing" experience.

2. Due to increased on-the-water security measures, regional law enforcement agencies will have more security support boats on the river during the Parade. It is more efficient to get these support boats into the water at the Schmidt Field boat ramp so that they can get ready at the same time the riverboats are staging.

3. While we would like to continue the Parade down to Mt. Echo Park as Ridder suggests, due to time constraints, we had to have the riverboats make the turn just after the Brent Spence Bridge.

While we can sympathize with those who have been enjoying the previous Parade of Tall Stacks' from viewing areas on the west side, our primary responsibility is to provide a valuable experience for our patrons and to provide the most efficient, safest route for our participating riverboats.

Pete D. Gomsak, Jr., President, Greater Cincinnati Tall Stacks Commission

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No East Side conspiracy in Tall Stacks parade route
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