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
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
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
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
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
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