Freddie Fixer Parade Chairman Maurice Smith sent in this note about this year’s event. (Click here for coverage of the event.)
On Sunday, May 18, 2014 a revival of one of the most controversial events took place in the City of New Haven, Connecticut: The 52nd Annual Freddie Fixer Parade. Prior to this event stepping off, numerous rumors and negative comments were made by the masses in opposition of the parade going forward, and there were many city residents reluctant to believe that this event could happen without any incidents.
As of 5:17 p.m., after the parade had finally been considered officially over, the organizers could proudly boast that no incidents whatsoever had occurred that would give all of the naysayers reason to criticize the Freddie Fixer Parade for whatever reason, regardless of how bad they may have
anticipated any negative incidents happening on that day. To those folks we would like to extend our hand and ask that they come on board and help us continue in our efforts to remind the New Haven Community about the real reason why the parade was established in the first place: To promote neighborhood beautification and to encourage those to take pride in your neighborhood regardless of what street you live on in the city of New Haven, Connecticut.
If you look at current status of our city, the majority of people who do not support or believe in the values of the Freddie Fixer Parade that encourages people to contribute to a city free of gun violence and graft, do not live here in the City of New Haven, and as the current leader of this phenomenal organization, I believe that that has to change. Over 80 percent of city employees, from all departments, do not reside in the city of New Haven, and it has been confirmed that the lack of support for the Freddie Fixer Parade resonates from these same departments respectively.
In any event, I would like to thank all of the people responsible for their hard work and dedication and for giving me the opportunity to prove once again that we can have festive African-American family events here in our city without the fear of violence of any kind. Those people who have contributed to the success of the Freddie Fixer Parade are from multiple racial backgrounds and are dedicated city residents. I proudly boast my thanks to the following entities:
New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp for over 20 years of her support for the Freddie Fixer Parade. To Our current Chief of Police, Dean Esserman who has a longstanding history of support for the Freddie Fixer Parade. To our deputy chief administrative officer, Jennifer Pugh, who fought diligently with helping the parade committee implement a strategy to reduce the amount of police overtime expenses and keep that strategy within the confines of the parade’s original mission. To Lt. Julie Johnson from the NHPD patrol division, who ensured that the parade started on time every year without fail.
To The New Haven Register and Register Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim for their powerful and positive promotion of the Freddie Fixer Parade for the six months leading up to this year’s event., and for your participation in the parade with the city’s youth.
To Sgt. Sam Brown from District 6 (the parade route district) for his assertiveness and knowledge of his community to make the proper adjustments that ensured that every single participant at this year’s parade was safe and sound. To the entire New Haven Community who have made it clear that they are tired of being afraid to come out with their children, family members and loved ones to cherish one day out of the year to embrace each other, see old family and friends, fellowship with the churchgoers and say to each other; “It’s so Good To See You! How have You Been?”
To those who gave what little monies they could in donations to help with the expenses in putting together this awesome event and also to those who didn’t give any donations, but we look forward to your support for next year’s event. To the NHPD police officers who were just as entertained as the spectators while making sure that anything that was unusual stayed in check.
To the Yale University, Hamden and even North Haven police departments for providing the experienced and skilled police officers trained to recognize any safety hazard on the spot with the protection of all of our citizens in mind, you name it, they did their thing!
In closing, thanks to the Freddie Fixer Parade 2014 Committee who keeps me in check with realistic ideas and the best advice any leader could hope for, Stephanie Boyd, Nina Silva, Howard Boyd, Kadena Robinson-Chemere, George Mention (Street Confinement Magazine) Diane Brown and the Stetson Branch Library for allowing us to hold our monthly meetings. The list goes on and on, and I extend my apologies in advance if I
forgot to mention anyone responsible for the success of the 52nd Annual Freddie Fixer Parade. You know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
The success of this year’s Freddie Fixer Parade is a confirmation of what can happen when all of the entities of any local city government comes together for the safety and well being of our residents, all in the name of a good cause. May you rest in peace Dr. Fred Smith knowing that your philosophy is still alive and well!