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Price Hill Thanksgiving Parade back on after volunteer shortage: 'I love our community'

thanksgiving parade
Posted at 12:26 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 09:04:49-05

CINCINNATI — A long-standing tradition in Price Hill almost came to an end on Wednesday when a volunteer shortage left organizers scrambling for help.

Cincinnati police told Price Hill Thanksgiving Day Parade organizers they needed 47 more volunteers to step up in the final hours to ensure a safe event. As the deadline approached, they turned to social media.

Laura Hamilton - a former West Price Hill community council president and long-time resident and volunteer - said she got a call from parade organizers Mark and Cindy Armstrong after they found out they didn't have enough volunteers.

"We got that out there on social media and between the bunch of us, Price Hill answered the call," Hamilton said in a Facebook post. "I love our community — I knew they would. They saved the parade."

Exactly 47 people stepped in, including Sheila Rosenthal.

"The fact we missed it last year was really sad," Rosenthal said. "It's really important to the community that we start coming back together as a community. We were excited to see the parade happening again."

Volunteers were needed because two people are required to be at each barricade along the parade route. Rosenthal will help move barricades to close down streets bright and early Thursday.

"It was really a great feat to be able to pull that many people together," Rosenthal said. "To step in the breach, and take care of the safety issues that were involved. Now we can have our parade, and it's going to be a great day!"

Cincinnati Police said the parade has always needed volunteers to man barricades at intersections police don't have staffed; in addition to the volunteers this year, police plan to provide additional officers following the deadly incident in Wisconsin, when a man drove a vehicle into a Christmas parade.

"Other times in a different climate, maybe some rules could be bent and we could have one person covering two or three barricades but because of all of the recent events with the parade up in Wisconsin, the police department didn't feel that they could do it for us today," Hamilton said.

The parade will feature floats, local businesses, school groups and honorary “Kings and Queens.” This year, the title will be held by the owners of St. Lawrence Bakery: Bill & Linda Hartmann and Paul & Darla Hartmann. The East Price Hill bakery closed earlier this year after operating more than a century.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. in front of Western Hills High School, ending at the St. Lawrence Center.