Fourth of July is downright sacred in Miami Springs. The City hosts a parade in the morning and fireworks in the evening. Our little city fills up with guests for our amazing fireworks on our picturesque Golf Course. A "good" parking space is a relative term because if you have a good space to sit on your car and watch the show, it is going to take you an hour to get back to your house! We live two miles from the golf course and it would take us less tim to walk. This year, we parked on car at my office at 36 Palmetto and walked out from where we parked Bill's truck on the Curtiss Parkway median to watch the fireworks.
Our parade is another tradition that is not to be messed with. Back in the day, the parade started on Curtiss Parkway by the golf course and ended at the Recreation Center. Nearly ten years ago the parade route was reversed. Now the parade route is from the Community Center to the Country Club. The route was originally reversed, in part, because the City invested in the Golf Course and wanted to bring people to the property.
Our Council is facing a lot of marketing issues and I completely understand why that decision was made. However, for the last few years, upon the request of many residents, I have advocated for reversing the parade route and starting at the Country Club and finishing at the Community Center. This suggestion has met with some resistance from the City staff and from other Council members. This year the response was warmer than last year, and next year we will try again.
I advocate that having our July 4 post parade celebration on a large piece of land behind the Country Club that has no shade or facilities is a poor use of our resources. We bring in bounce houses, waterslides, and crafts; Optimist and other groups set up tents and serve food and drinks; we use the room in the Country Club for the cutest baby contest.
I suggest that we would not need to expend as many resources if we used the tot lot at Prince Field, opened the pool for those that wanted to swim, used the Community Room at the Community Center or the back room of the Senior Center for the cutest baby contest. In addition, the Optimist Club, a group that is kind enough to prepare and serve hundreds and hundreds of hot dogs that are purchased by the City could actually do so from the air conditioned Senior Center instead of fighting the elements in an open space in early July.
If we still wanted a bounce house, which I believe would be unnecessary with the playground right there, it could be set up in the corner of Prince Field. In fact, we could even host a community softball tournament and (gasp) charge an entrance fee and possibly make some money from event. We are fortunate to have renovated facilities at the Senior Center and a brand new Community Center with plenty of bathrooms. We should be using those spaces for the comfort of our community instead of forcing everyone to the back of the Country Club.
I am not saying that EVERYONE in Miami Springs thinks this is a good idea. Many residents near the Community Center are very happy that post July 4 events have moved across town. I don't blame them. But, when I consider what is best for the entire community, weighing the pros and the cons, moving our ever-growing party just makes sense. It is Council's job to consider what is appropriate to spend for community events, and I can't justify not suggesting there is a better use of our money than bounce houses and water slides on the edge of the Golf Course when we have a wonderful tot lot and great pool that could be used. We would be able to accommodate more people, more efficiently, if we were using the Senior Center/Prince Field/Community Center/Pool location. It just makes sense.