I was in Sunday’s May Day parade, which raised money for - and called attention to - the good works of Annie Malone Children and Family Services.
An annual event since 1922, the Annie Malone parade is a source of pride for the local African American community - and for our City. Its organizers refer to it as “the second largest African American parade” in the country. This year’s event, drew tens of thousands of spectators to watch the pageantry of marching bands, floats, drum and bugle corps, celebrities - and, even, an incumbent elected official or ten.
Some years, including this one, the media reports on some sort of violence that happened at, near, before, or after the parade. That gives the parade a reputation it has struggled to shed - and which it probably no longer deserves.
Here is the bottom line: the event’s organizers work closely with the St. Louis police department - and with leaders from throughout the community. Officers police the parade and its route attentively. Considering the presence of an unaccustomed number of police officers and other public safety professionals; thousands of grandmothers; hundreds of community leaders; and dozens of drum majors, band leaders, and squad leaders, the neighborhood of the parade is probably safer during the May Day event than at any other time.
I am not pleased with any crime anywhere in the City, but I really like this parade.