Star City Parade could fall victim to budget cuts

A 25–year Lincoln tradition could come to an end. The mayor's proposed budget cuts include deleting more than $70,000 in funding for the annual Star City parade. With so many programs and events on the chopping block…it's going to be hard for the city to decide what really should be cut.

We hear from one organization that says their program should stay. It's bared the bad weather.  Survived some rough spots. But this could be the year they put a freeze on the annual Star City holiday parade.

“I really would hate to see that go away I think it's very important for the kids and important for the community to get together and celebrate Christmas,” Rick Morphew of Lincoln said.

But in a year of budget busts, the mayor says the city simply can't afford to help support the Star City parade. The annual activity costs an approximate 300,000 dollars to produce, 90 percent of that coming from private donors, leaving a $70,000 bill for city to foot.

It's money the parade's committee president says she understands is hard to come by right now… But it's an investment the city should take seriously. “70 percent of the people who attend the parade are coming from outside of Lincoln. It's bringing dollars to our community. It goes off of that old saying you have to spend money to make money,” Katie Tauer with the Star City Parade said.

And to make money she says they need to spend it now. Star City parade planning begins right around this time of year. Around the time of Uncle Sam Jam.  Another event the city plans to cut funds from. Leaving the committee with little more than a hope that they'll find some sort of creative solution to these problems.

“We're really trying to reevaluate where the organization is at and what this community values and just to see what we can do for this community to still give us this cultural feeling and this sense of community we try to provide through our events,” Tauer said.

The Star City parade has to raise $200,000 annually without the help of the city. So this year they need help more than ever. They say they'd like to plead to the public to donate any extra cash they may have this year. Of course this is not final. The city council has to approve the mayor's budget. And he'll present it to them on Monday.