Drop in sponsorships, donations putting Santa Rosa's Rose Parade in jeopardy of cancellation

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, a community tradition that has been going strong for more than a century may be in jeopardy of ending due to a lack of donations.

It's the little parade that could. The annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade has been delighting crowds for generations in Santa Rosa for 125 years.

Four-thousand participants, many from local schools, march through downtown streets every third Saturday in May. But this year, this little slice of Americana is in jeopardy.

"125 years, I don't want it to go away on my watch," said parade manager Judy Groverman-Walker.

Groverman-Walker says the event is non-profit. It relies entirely on support and sponsorship from the community to survive. This year the event is $20,000 shy of paying for parade insurance and city permits. This year's event is scheduled for May 18th.

Groverman-Walker believes a generous community has been tapped out financially by two years of catastrophic wildfires and epic flood damage.

"I understand people's money goes in different directions, fires and floods. But we want to see this continue in our community," she added.

Volunteers are now brainstorming on how to keep it going and avoid having to cancel.

"We've had so much tragedy in the last couple of years.. I think uplifting people actually makes a difference," said Santa Rosa resident Anna Benson.

If you'd like to donate, go to the parade's website, here.
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