Sunday, May 31, 2009

Everyone loves a parade: Orland Days a hit this year

Everyone loves a parade, including the kids who stand by the curb as the parade floats, fire and police vehicles and politicians and small businesses walk past tossing some neat candies to the excited kids.
This year's Orland Days Parade was excellent and had more people seated along the route, although it still could use more support from the community. And Orland Days, hosted and organized by volunteers from the Lions Club of Orland Park, was very well done, with some better food booths and a nice music tent nearby.

The Metra Station parking lot worked great for this year's event (held there last year too) and was far better than the spread at the old Homemaker's parking lot where Orland Days hit a low point. The food was terrible back then, but not this year. It was very good.

The corn on the cob from the Scouts was top notch and so were the sandwiches and the drinks. My favorite was the M8K Ur Own slush. Although the tickets were steep -- a sign of the still spiralling down economy, the rides were good. The best was the Inverter. Wow! Scary. And there were several others this year that included flips, spins and fast diving seating that were frightening to watch let alone actually ride.

The kids loved all the rides, of course. And the carnival atmosphere was appealing. But, still. As much as I enjoyed Orland Days, I wish we could have more. The rock band Janus was very good and there were many others. But the variety was narrow.

The parade, though had a great contingent from the Orland Fire Protection District headed by the nice-enough Pat Maher, who is planning to run for Cook County Commissioner. And that was Topic A1 at the Orland Days festival when I went there. Several firemen came up to me to say hello and said they appreciated having a columnist hold the politicians' feet to the fire regarding who gets promoted, who gets passed over, who is driving around in a taxpayer funded battalion chief's SUV and who has to schlep and do all the work.

It's my humble opinion Maher is going to lose to incumbent 17th District Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman who has been breaking headlines left and right leading the fight on behalf of the taxpayers against unresponsive and beleaguered Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Stroger shoved a 1 percent sales tax hike down the throats of the taxpayers without once trying to reduce his own wasteful spending. And that will cost Stroger his job.

And it won't be soon enough as Stroger is a very vindictive and mean person surrounded by a bunch of vindictive and mean consultants and taxpayer-paid lapdogs who sing his praises to keep their high priced and wasteful jobs. (Of course, that doesn't include the competent Parliamentarian and Oak Lawn attorney Burton S. Odelson who does a good job. Too bad Stroger doesn't always listen to good advice.)

But Gorman was out there shaking hands and giving candy personally to all of the kids and she walked both sides to make sure no little tyke was without the booty. People were cheering her on and thanking her for leading the fight against the Stroger sales tax.

Maher's troubles begin with his father and the too obvious ties not just to Chicago's 19th Ward but to the power hungry Machine that wants to push Orland under its thumb.

It ain't gonna work. But, Maher will learn that he will be a better candidate in some future race and without the nudge from his father or the political consultants who are swarming around him like a coveted front-row seat ticket to a Rolling Stones' concert.

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