Fourth a go, Cinco maybe
De Soto residents can mark their calendars for a community celebration for the fourth day of July but the fate of the celebration for the fifth day of May has yet to be determined.
Addressing the De Soto City Council during its call to the public last Thursday, Duke Neeland said planning had started to bring the Cinco de Mayo event back to De Soto after a one-year hiatus.
Neeland, who has been involved with the celebration since he was on the council for its 2000 introduction, presented the council with a letter on behalf of the Cinco de Mayo Committee, asking for a donation so that the celebration could return and for the use of the Community Center. Neeland also presented the council with budget spreadsheets from past years when the council helped subsidize the celebration.
The celebration would be an alcohol-free event, Neeland said, reminding the council that past celebrations were free of any trouble or concerns.
Council members agreed to consider the request under the city's new policy for funding requests from community organizations and to discuss the request again at its March 2 meeting.
The council agreed to allow children to practice dances for the celebration Saturday evenings in the Senior Center at no cost.
The council did agree to contract Wald & Co. to produce a $6,000 show for a community Fourth of July celebration.
Council members acknowledged the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education members have discussed reservations about continuing the celebration at the football stadium after the council's decision in January to allow the use of fireworks in the city, but agreed the fireworks display would be presented somewhere should the district withhold use of the stadium.
Councilwoman Mitra Templin argued Johnson County Sheriff's deputies should have more success in preventing the use of fireworks on school property because they wouldn't be consumed in the endless and futile task of stopping their use throughout the city.
Templin agreed to schedule a meeting with Superintendent Sharon Zoellner to discuss the show and the district's reservations.