Independence Day has passed and the largest party in Saratoga every summer has concluded. From the Festival of the Arts to the Old Fashioned Family Carnival to, yes, even Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band headlining Saratoga Days it appeared to be a successful weekend.

Thought that may depend on how one defines success.

Was it economically beneficial to the restaurants and businesses on Bridge Avenue? Yes, we would imagine so. When not taking part in the fun family games on West Bridge Avenue or the increasing festivities on East Bridge Avenue, visitors and locals could be seen wandering into and out of various store fronts.

Did people have fun? We don’t think that’s in doubt.

Did we clean up after ourselves? Well ...

Any party, no matter what size, makes a mess. It doesn’t matter if it’s a child’s birthday party or an event like Saratoga Days. What helps make it easier to clean up is when there’s an overabundance of trash receptacles. Which there were, generously provided by Sunrise Sanitation.

Yet, on Sunday morning while the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department was doing their annual pancake breakfast — which was absolutely delicious by the way — East Bridge Avenue was a mess. From 1st Street to River Street, half-empty beer bottles and plastic cups littered the sidewalks and window ledges of businesses. Black straws were strewn all over the place, trash receptacles were overturned and to-go boxes previously filled with food were scattered on the ground.

That’s not even counting the Monday morning in which beer bottles were placed in a newspaper rack that holds our seasonal guides or the return of plastic drink cups along East Bridge Avenue.

We at the Saratoga Sun are not opposed to having a fun event like Saratoga Days. On the contrary, each year we make a contribution, and our staff have a fun time taking photos and watching the music. The Saratoga Days committee does a great job in bringing great acts to open for their headliners. It’s a chance for many vendors, some without store fronts, to set up shop and show their wares and talents.

After all the fun, however, comes the responsibility. Many of us have been taught from childhood that if you make a mess, you have to clean it up. It only takes a few bad apples to make a mess.

Though we have other economic drivers in our area, such as the timber industry and agriculture, tourism helps bring in a good amount of money. Bringing people to our area and showing them a good time is only half the job.

Cleaning up after a party makes future events that much more appealing to people, which means they’ll return and maybe even bring their friends.

If, in the future, a post-Saratoga Days cleanup crew will be assembled the editor is more than happy to lend their broom pushing skills to the effort.

Saratoga Sun

July 7

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