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Sunshine Days

I have been reading with interest the concerns and puzzlement expressed by our city leaders and the staff of the Daily Sun News about the lack of interest and attendance at Sunshine Days.

When my husband and I came to Sunnyside we attended Sunshine Days later even participated as a vendor for several years. There were people from not only Sunnyside, but other cities around the area, as well as friends and family visiting residents here in town who scheduled their visits so they would be able to attend the celebration. It was fun and the weather always seemed to cooperate.

A couple years ago, the Latino segment of our fair city decided that Cinco de Mayo was not enough for them to celebrate. They also had to have their 16th of September celebration. The first year, if I remember right, it fell the weekend before the Sunshine Days celebration, and the City Council tried to combine the two so that the town would not have the expense of extra police, garbage pick-up or the bother of the roads being closed for two weekends in a row. This did not sit well with the 16th of September group. I believe they had their celebration on the 16th and we had ours on the following weekend.

The next year the two were combined by having two days of Sunshine Days (Friday and Saturday) and the 16th of September celebration was on Sunday, thus saving the city money and the bother of closing roads, etc. At this time, Sunshine Days became not our city's celebration of itself and its history, but something that had to be shared and altered by another country's celebration.

The last Cinco de Mayo celebration lasted three or four days and every time I went out into my yard or opened my windows, from morning till late at night, I could hear the announcements and other noise from that celebration. I was ecstatic when the lightning put a stop it around 10 p.m. on the last day, even though I missed part of my favorite TV program.

With Sunshine Days becoming a Mexican holiday I only go to see the parade on Saturday morning, go through the exhibits and have some food, watch a few shows and go home. I do not go to town when Cinco de Mayo or the 16th of September celebrations are being held, as they have no meaning or interest for me. If I wanted to celebrate these occasions I would go to Mexico. I feel that a lot of our native Sunnysiders feel the same way. They do not want to celebrate another country's holiday when we are supposed to be celebrating our own.

It is such a shame that we are losing our American and city celebrations and putting so much time and effort into another country's history and celebrations.

I am very glad we FINALLY got the 4th of July celebration a few years ago, and really enjoyed the two-day celebration this year. My husband and I contribute all we can to the fireworks fund and feel very proud that we have at least one American holiday after so many years without it in this community.

We also enjoy and take pride in the lighted farm implement parade. Many times I have walked by myself and stood in the cold to watch that wonderful parade. It makes me very proud of this city when I see something like that. I hope they will continue to be the all-American and old-fashioned town holidays they are now.

I don't mind people from other lands keeping their traditions and language alive in their homes. I wish I had been taught my father's Ukrainian and mother's Italian languages and customs as a child. These I would have held dear, but as they say, "When in Rome."

This is still America and Sunnyside is still an American city and should have more pride and celebration in that fact, instead of all the celebrations of foreign holidays.

/s/ Bridget M. Krueger, Sunnyside


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