The following was submitted to The Press by American Legion Commander George Besse:

I’m sure it is on the minds of many Ridgefielders who are looking to enjoy the parade and all the associated festivities. What if it rains on our parade again this year? How is the decision made to cancel it and who makes that decision?

First of all, it is not an easy decision to make. The American Legion organizers up to this point have worked long and hard to get all the participants and bands signed up and placed in order of the line of march.  

The decision is a lengthy process involving inputs from many sources, most importantly, weather forecasts by the hour, radar and lightning possibilities during the parade time. Safety is our major concern for the many young marchers in the parade.

Logistics involve adequate notice to cancel our contractual obligations for additional off-duty police and the seven marching bands. They all have a certain time constraint when we need to notify them to avoid paying. This why the parade can’t be canceled at the last minute.  

We have explored other options, like starting later in the day if the weather clears, or moving the parade to another day.  

In reality, Memorial Day is Memorial Day, and the parade cannot not be moved forward or backward to another day.     

The best you can do is to pray for great weather. If our prayers aren’t answered, we will hold our closing ceremony at 11:30 at Jesse Lee Methodist Church. All are invited.