Editorial — Another success — but not without a mess

The weather might have been a bit too muggy to suit some people, but setting aside the heat, this year’s Rochesterfest appears to have gone off without a hitch. The week-long festival drew solid crowds again this year, with free events like the parade and Family Fun Night bringing out an amazing number of people.

There was some concern about the departure of the lumberjacks championships as a signature event for Rochesterfest, but we think the new events, including the strongman competition and the "Rochester’s Got Talent" contest, are well on their way to becoming annual traditions.

As for the hard numbers, we expect that when dollars are added up, Rochesterfest will prove to be somewhat recession-proof. Some people might have cut their spending a bit, but the tempation for a little mid-summer indulgence remains awfully strong. Eating lunch outdoors while listening to good music and chatting with good friends has become a summertime ritual, and we think it’s a good one.

Speaking of rituals, however, there’s one we’d like to see broken next year: namely, the tradition of leaving candy wrappers, political stickers, soda cans, water bottles and fast-food bags behind when you pack up the kids, chairs and coolers after watching the Rochesterfest parade.

Joe Fitzpatrick, street maintenance manager for Rochester’s Public Works Department, told us that seven city employees spent 41⁄2 hours — all overtime — cleaning up the mess left by parade-watchers.


"Actually, it’s a lot better than it used to be, because we have a lot of trash containers along the route," he said. "It used to really be a mess."

Yikes. It’s somewhat stunning to think that the mess left on Friday is an improvement.

And really, there’s no excuse for this. Waste Management brings up the rear of the parade, handing out trash bags to anyone who’ll take them. If every person took just 30 seconds to clean up, the results would be wonderful.

Really, have the memories of this year’s "Litter Bit Better Campaign" already faded?

We certainly hope not. Let’s do better next year.

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