July 1, 2009

Plans for the 4th

Even though it's a holiday weekend coming up, I'm a bit at a loss as to what we're going to do. Ever since Bonnie and I were little, we have spent nearly every Independence Day at MSUM's Old Fashioned Fourth of July carnival. It's the best: decorated bike parade for kids; live music for folks who want to sit, relax, and listen; pickles on a stick, hot dogs, ice cream, and other summer treats; bingo; many kiddie games like the Sucker Pull, Haystack Surprise, mini golf, straw races, duck pond, etc; cartoons showing in Weld Hall auditorium; face painting; and more. This event is basically an open invitation party hosted by the university to the tune of around $35,000. Well, for the first time in 30 years or so MSUM has cancelled the afternoon events because of the extreme budget cuts the university is facing. I have to hand it to our new President, Edna Szymanski--cancelling a community tradition was a tough call, but as a university we have faced the prospect of layoffs since January, with all(and I mean ALL) programs, academic and nonacademic, being examined for their productivity, uniquenes, and revenue generation. I admire her for decidng not to spend that kind of money when the university's budget is facing this kind of crisis. Some criticized and disagreed with her decision, but personally, I think it shows wise financial sense and strength of character.

There will still be the evening events: live music and fireworks, and they've added inflatable games for children. Mom, Dad, and I will probably take the kids. My inlaws and Bonnie's clan will all be out of town, so it will just be G and G Ingersoll and my clan.

Hopefully, you have a relaxing weekend to look forward to!

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