Plans to restore caroling are music to many ears

Who, pray tell, made the decision to do away with the stroll and caroling before the Christmas tree lighting? My Denver children tell me they may not come to my house for Thanksgiving anymore. My daughter asked at the downtown visitors center, “why no parade?” They said it was a mystery and had been getting adverse responses all day. Inquiring minds want to know. – Ken LeRoy from north of Bayfield

The threat of a Thanksgiving boycott is serious business. So there might be more to the situation than a pre-empted polyphonic peregrination.

Have you considered it might be the holiday meal? You know how kids are these days.

The big city might have turned your tots into fastidious foodies who eschew the traditional green-bean casserole and Jello-O salad with shredded carrots and marshmallows.

So talk turkey with those whippersnappers. Did they develop a cranberry intolerance by living perilously close to Boulder? Do they consume only artisan-certified organic and non-GMO foodstuffs purchased at the holistic farmers market?

Or then again, it might be the lack of a quaint, old-fashioned caroling procession through your historic hometown.

Regardless, here’s music for your ears. Sauntering and singing likely will be returning next year.

“We’re already working with the city to figure out how to have a parade without having to block off parking spaces on Black Friday,” said Tim Walsworth, executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District.

The organization took over the Singing With Santa and tree-lighting event this year.

The reason the caroling procession was canceled had to do with the city’s parade-permitting process.

When you formally sponsor a parade, you have to arrange for streets to be blocked off, typically with the safety barricades. This also means eliminating parking along Main Avenue on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

That put Tim between the proverbial rock and a hard place. He works for the downtown merchants, most shop owners totally support the event, but they don’t want barricades in front of their stores when shoppers are out and about.

But without the standard parade closures, carolers wouldn’t be safe, and the district would be held liable should something happen.

So the Singing With Santa event took place without a procession. In hindsight, that was off-key.

“The community loves the parade, and a lot of people missed that,” said Tim. “So the next Monday after the tree lighting, I contacted the city to see what we can work out.”

The solution is in the works. “I’m confident it will be back,” Tim said, adding that the musical moseying will be easy to do, safe for the participants and neither impede traffic nor commerce.

“If zombies can do it, why not carolers?” he asked.

durango colorado

Speaking of zombies, the Mea Culpa Mailbag has this lively observation regarding last week’s column on City Market’s high-tech sensors.

“I wonder if City Market’s infrared counting system worked on Halloween with all the undead customers,” writes loyal reader Steve Doob.

“Did the zombies have to wait in long lines because they didn’t emit any heat? Or did they just eat the cashiers?”

Another reader expressed gratitude that the Post Office Pothole of Doom was repaired last week, but asked, “So who blinked first – the city or Post Office?”

The answer is ... your federal government. Workers filled the cavern and applied cold asphalt.

It makes a decent temporary solution until, as one postal worker wisecracked, “the city comes along with a snowplow, catches a corner and lifts the patch. Then it’s back to Square One.”

Another reader wondered how the city could disown the Post Office alley. “The city installed a drop box on that alley for city-issued parking tickets,” he observed. “How could it not be city property when it’s used to make city payments.”

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you don’t go postal after hearing the barking dogs ‘Jingle Bells’ song for the umpteenth time this week.

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