Committee Changes Time of Piotique Parade

Recently, the Grow Clay County volunteer committee decided to change the time of the upcoming Piotique Parade. It will be moved to 11 am, from the previous 2 pm, the committee said.

After minutes from the most recent County Commissioner meeting, Grow Clay County Director, Natalie Muruato issued a response:

We would like to address recent inquiries regarding the decision to adjust the timing of the Piotique Parade. As director of Grow Clay County and representative of the Community Outreach Committee, it is important to provide clarity on the rationale behind this change.

The decision to move the parade to 11:00 a.m. was made after careful consideration and consultation with various stakeholders, including community members and organizational leaders. Sam Tiemeyer from Cowboys for Christ expressed concerns about the proposed time change with the County Commissioners, citing a scheduling conflict with the horse rides they provide that day.

We want the community to know that adjusting the parade time was not taken lightly. Executive Director Natalie Muruato supported this change by the Community Outreach Committee volunteers for several compelling reasons, foremost among them being concerns for heat safety. By scheduling the parade earlier, we aim to ease the risk of heat-related issues for participants, volunteer workers, and spectators alike.

Furthermore, the discrepancy in departure times between parade attendees and vendors posed logistical challenges. While attendees typically leave after the parade, vendors are required to remain until 4:00 p.m. This mismatch created an imbalance in the event’s dynamics, which we sought to address through the revised schedule. In addition to these considerations, we will introduce new events this year to enhance the overall experience and encourage attendees to stay downtown longer. We believe these additions will contribute to the vibrancy and success of the event.

Mrs. Muruato consulted with former Chamber directors who supported the time change and researched neighboring communities that host their parades before noon and still manage to have successful events, providing a precedent for our decision.

Additionally, Director Muruato had a conversation with former Cowboys for Christ President Chuck Smith, who inquired about the reason for the time change. Mr. Smith expressed a willingness to work toward finding a compromise that accommodates the needs of all involved parties. We appreciate Mr. Smith’s proactive approach and look forward to engaging in constructive discussions to address any remaining concerns.

Ultimately, we respect the input of all stakeholders, including Mr. Tiemeyer, Cowboys for Christ,  and the County Commissioners, and appreciate their dedication to the community. However, as the individuals responsible for organizing and overseeing the event from dawn until dark, our volunteer committee and board members must make decisions prioritizing the safety and success of the Piotique Event.  We plan to try this for a couple of years, if it doesn’t work, we can revert to the 2 pm time.

We remain committed to fostering open dialogue and collaboration with all parties involved and welcome any further inquiries or feedback. We are committed to Clay County and working to Grow our events.

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