WASHINGTON (AP) — Organizers of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington said Wednesday they are appealing a decision to cancel the parade in the event of a government shutdown.

A federal budget official said Wednesday that if there is a government shutdown, the parade would be canceled. The parade runs along Constitution Avenue, which is partly National Park Service jurisdiction. Part of the road, though, is under local jurisdiction.

The parade is expected to draw about 5,000 participants, with one group traveling from as far away as Japan, according to festival organizers.

“People are already on their way, so we’re not ready to back down yet,” said spokeswoman Danielle Piacente. “We’re ready to appeal to whoever we can to keep the parade going.”

She said many other events would not be interrupted by the government’s budget troubles, but a Japanese street festival Saturday on Pennsylvania Avenue and scheduled performances might be.

The two-week cherry blossom festival is a 99-year-old tradition in Washington and draws more than 1 million people a year to see the city’s pink and white cherry tree blossoms.

For the parade, 13 marching bands scheduled to participate, including bands traveling from Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama and New York. Parade sponsorships also are sold to help fund the festival.

National Park Service spokesman Bill Line said that it’s too soon to know what will happen because officials don’t know whether there will be a government shutdown.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (4)
  1. Doug says:

    We don’t need a party planning government.
    Fix our highways.

    and let me add,the Cherry trees have a higher I.Q. then
    most in politicians in D.C.

  2. pigeon says:

    Think how much $$ the USA can save by making retirees of congress, senate, supreme court, and so on pay for or even towards their health ins. and reduce their benefits like is being done to the average American citizen.
    Also, cut back on the per diem for food, expenses, travel, lodging of those we have put in office.
    Rent out unused office spaces and/or buildings rather then let them sit and become “infested”.
    Turn off or reduce the amount of utilities used in federal buildings, INCLUDING THE WHITE HOUSE. 99.9% of the people of this world knows it exists so we don’t need to “advertise it”.
    Stop the flying around from here to there and all over trying to make “friends” internationally. IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN! Those countries don’t want to come to our aid – they want us to come to theirs.
    And if you would tax everyone evenly across the board we would probably have more money then we need to run this country. Stop giving millionaires and multimillionaires loop holes – same goes for companies.
    Get rid of mundane jobs – people put behind a desk ’cause they are friends of friends.

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