Bellevue Labor Day Parade 2019

Bellevue's Labor Day parade, pictured here in 2019, traditionally attracts large crowds. 

The Bellevue City Council voted Monday to cancel its support for a Labor Day parade and associated events.

The decision came following months of discussion and a decision by the Labor Day Committee that the events should not go forward due to the high cost of insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nothing sadder could be done,” Mayor Ned Burns said. “But if even the organizers say they aren’t going to organize Labor Day, it makes it difficult.”

At one point, the council had entertained the notion of having a “dispersed” parade that would have snaked through town instead of a concentrated one on Main Street. Even that plan was abandoned on Monday.

Several city council members applauded the decision in light of rising rates of coronavirus infections in Idaho and around the country.

“It’s the right decision” said Councilman Shaun Mahoney, a restaurant owner.

He said local restaurants could instead have drink specials and maybe outdoor music.

Councilman Chris Johnson agreed that it would be important to support business in what they want to do.

Councilman Doug Brown said crowded events with drinking are where the new infections are breaking out, and that he would not want to send a message to the public that they should be encouraged.

“We need to put the kibosh on it,” Brown said.

The council voted unanimously to pass a resolution stating that the city will not participate in a Labor Day celebration.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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