Neighbors have mixed opinions about Sunfair Parade cancellation

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Everything was ready to go downtown Saturday for the 51st annual Sunfair parade.

But Yakima Avenue wasn't filled with floats and candy, instead it was traffic as usual.

The thick smoky haze from the nearby wildfires blankets the Yakima Valley. Parade organizers say it just wasn't smart to hold the parade in such conditions. For the first time ever, the parade was canceled.

Folks around town have mixed opinions about the decision.

"I didn't even know they weren't going to have it until later this afternoon," said one person.

"I think it should have went on. The weather is sunny." said a woman who was visiting Yakima.

"I haven't really noticed the some today, it's cleared up quite a bit today from yesterday," said a Yakima man.

"It's too smoky out here for the kids. It's better to keep them home today," said a Yakima woman.

I spoke with the Mayor where the parade was supposed to start at 16Th and Yakima Avenues.

"It is weird and different not having a parade today," Mayor Micah Cawley said.

Mayor Cawley says he spoke with the parade organizers Friday while they were making the decision.

They said participants started withdrawing from the parade because of the smoky haze. They also took into consideration air advisories from the Clean Air Agency and National Weather Service.

It became obvious the show shouldn't go on.

No parade this year is obviously a let down for the people organizing it and those who just wanted to go, but it's also a let down for hotels and businesses downtown who typically see a rush in customers from the parade.

"We've got people from Seattle, traveling from Tri Cities, from Spokane, to enter our parade and they usually stay in town, spend time, go to the fair," Cawley said.

Canceling this year's parade might give some a reason to return bigger and better next year.

"Ya know I had lined up a 2010 Nissan 370Z. It was detailed, it was beautiful, the owner put a lot of work into getting it ready and it somewhat of a let down," Cawley said. "I'll tell ya next year, I'm gonna get the same car."