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Chamber to fine tune Sunnyside's holiday parade

Last week's 22nd annual Lighted Farm Implement Parade in Sunnyside was bigger than ever.

In what could be called a good problem to have, though, the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce is concerned the event is so popular and draws such large crowds that there are potential safety issues.

"There are people pushing out into the street," said Pam Turner, the chamber's executive director, referring to parade-goers packing downtown Sunnyside.

The concern was raised yesterday, Thursday, during the chamber's monthly membership meeting.

Turner said meetings are already in the works to fine tune the parade to ensure spectator safety. "We need some crowd control," she said. "It's getting so big we have to change the dynamic."

Also during yesterday's meeting, chamber members discussed wide ranging topics that included:

- Security concerns regarding a 1,000-capacity dance hall near the former K-Mart building.

- A drive in 2011 to increase chamber membership as a way to help cover costs.

- The success of Sunnyside High School's closed campus for lunch in increasing school attendance to as high as 94 percent. Even when students have earned the privilege to eat lunch off campus, it was noted many choose to stay at school during the meal time.

- Net proceeds from the Festival of Trees fundraiser for the Sunnyside Community Hospital Foundation came in at just under $10,000.

- An effort to hold a state horseshoe pitching tournament in Sunnyside.

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce's next membership meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011, at noon at Snipes Mountain Brewery.

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