As Subtropical Storm Alberto continues to dump rain on the area, safety concerns led parade organizers to cancel.
Keith Pandeloglou, the director of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, was busy taking down signs Sunday morning on Lakewood Main Street.
The Tribute to Heroes Parade, scheduled for Sunday with a block party beginning at 6 p.m., had been canceled due to Subtropical Storm Alberto.
“We have to take safety into account first,” Pandeloglou said.
Although the parade had been billed as “rain or shine,” Pandeloglou said there is a big difference between rain and a tropical depression.
Manatee County commissioners declared a state of emergency on Friday and Pandeloglou said “we have to trust the experts.”
By Saturday afternoon, before Pandeloglou canceled the event, 15 participating groups had canceled. He said most of those involved either children or seniors. He said the parade already had lost most of its floats.
While Lakewood Ranch Community Activities will take a financial hit due to the cancellation (Pandeloglou said it is too early to report an amount), he said it was lessened due to the generosity of the community.
Those who paid entry fees into the parade were given the opportunity to get a refund, put their fee toward next year’s parade or donate the money to a veterans group.
“We’re lucky we have so many longtime community partners,” he said.