Franklin Civic Celebration is dead. What’s next?

On June 3, 2020, I blogged the following:

This week Franklin’s Civic Celebration Commission voted 5-3 to cancel this year’s Independence Day festivities. (The vote technically was 5-1. The chair included the opinions of members-emeritus who were in the room. Only 6 members were eligible to vote).

Seems this wasn’t a “sky is falling” decision. An adequate number of volunteers is lacking. Not enough money for the parade. Ditto for fireworks, complicated by not being able to sell tickets.

The commission’s recommendation now goes to the full Common Council where the celebration is almost certain to die. Why not? Everything else in America has been called off.

Too bad , especially when the Franklin Independence Day Celebration parade with all its cavernous gaps between units would be by far the best example of compliance with social distancing in the entire state.

The Franklin Common Council then held a special meeting on June 4, 2020.  The following is an excerpt from the minutes of that meeting:

Civic Celebrations Committee Chair John Bergner appeared before the Common Council to discuss the Committee’s recommendation.  Alderwoman Hanneman then moved to cancel all currently contemplated Independence Day activities including the parade, Legend Park fireworks and Civic Center Festival.  Seconded by Alderman Barber.  All voted Aye; motion carried.

Posted on the city website:

Due to a number of factors surrounding the Covid 19 Pandemic, the Common Council and the Civic Celebrations Commission regrettably CANCEL all Independence Day Celebration activities scheduled for 2020 including the parade and fireworks on July 4th and the festival that was to be held July 3rd thru July 5th. The Council and Commission hope that the community gathers with their families and friends to celebrate the independence and freedoms of our Country and we look forward to a bigger and better celebration in 2021.

“We look forward to a bigger and better celebration in 2021.”

There have been so many cancellations where that always seems to be part of the ‘not gonna happen’ announcement that it sounds perfunctory. Insincere. Halfhearted.

This offhand blanket is intended to quickly and automatically remove any sting or dissatisfaction. Makes you feel so much better.

Think of the fast food joints where the teenager flat out dismisses you, sans any feeling or smile with an uninspiring “Have a nice day.”

As nice as the folks are at Kwik Trip, please spare me the “See you next time” that’s awfully presumptuous.

A bigger and better Franklin festival in 2021. Really? Will it be longer? (the answer is no). Will there be an additional night of fireworks? Don’t know.

July 4th is on a Sunday next year. Will the celebration also be held on July 5th? An official at the June 4th Common Council meeting said that will be a tear down day.

Naturally, lots of people, including me, are disappointed. Not an easy decision, granted. But did everyone involved who claim they worked so hard work hard enough to come up with even an abbreviated less costly celebration?  If people felt unsafe they wouldn’t have to come. They could, as suggested at the June 4th meeting listen to the national anthem or watch virtual fireworks (Like that’s the same).

All I heard listening to the June 4th meeting on tape was how we can’t, we can’t, we can’t, we can’t. Everybody else has canceled so we can’t be the only game in town. That would bring people in to Franklin. God forbid that would happen.

The double sucker punch arrives Tuesday (tomorrow) when the Fair Commission meets at 5:00 to decide on St. Martin’s Fair on Labor Day. The Common Council will then take up their recommendation at its regularly scheduled meeting right after.

Stick a fork in that one, too.

It’s done.

6 thoughts on “Franklin Civic Celebration is dead. What’s next?

  1. If it could be done safely, I wonder if they could pay the Rock and do them at the top of the hill? At least many people could see them although I suppose there’s the possibility of burning Root River parkway down. 🙂


    • If you recall during the Milkmen season last year fireworks were shot off after several games, up near the Umbrella Bar. The aldermen are saying there’s a cost factor. Up go my eyebrows. This is a Common Council that over-spends and rarely passes up a chance to do so. But they couldn’t find in all the obscene tax money they collect enough to celebrate America.


  2. Forgot all about that and apparently Franklin admin did too. Well, since they are basically cutting back everything, I’m sure they’re taking a cut in pay to show solidarity.


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