Clowns, Cymbals but No Commemorative Coins at the Annual Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

UPDATED, Sept 2, 4 p.m. – The city of Gaithersburg just got in 10,000 commemorative coins that should have arrived  in time for the Annual Labor Day parade held on Monday.

According to Michele Potter, director of Parks, Recreation and Culture for the city, the coins did not arrive in time for city leaders to toss them to the crowd along the parade route, a city tradition.

The blue coins arrived Tuesday, the day after the parade, despite the order for them being placed in July.

The coins cost the city $3,019, but the company is discounting the order by nearly half or $1509, Potter said.

Residents will be able to pick up the commemorative coins at some city facilities.

ORIGINAL POST –

Thousands of people lined the streets in Gaithersburg Monday for the 76th annual Labor Day parade, but part of the tradition was missing.

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This year, city leaders did not have the traditional City Commemorative Coin to toss to parade watchers as they have for more than a decade.  Despite ordering the commemorative coins in July, the shipment did not arrive in time for the traditional toss during the parade route, according to Michele Potter, director of Parks, Recreation and Culture.

“It was sad that they did not arrive in time,” Potter said.

City elected officials traditionally would throw the coins from the tractor-drawn trolley along the parade route through the streets of  Olde Towne.

But, collectors can still get the coins when they come in, according to Potter. She said there will be plenty available and they will be distributed at a variety of city facilities.

Last year’s coin celebrated the 50th anniversary of the City of Gaithersburg Police Department. This year’s version is back to the traditional style, Potter said. She said the coins are popular with coin collectors and many she said have had all the coins from past years.

Mayor Sidney Katz said he was “disappointed” the coins weren’t ready.

“As long as I can remember we have been giving out those coins at this parade,” Katz told MyMCMedia Monday.

This was Katz’ last Labor Day parade as the city’s mayor. Katz is the councilmember-elect to the Montgomery County Council.

“I will still be representing these same people but just changing my office address,” he said.

Expected to be decided next month is who will take his place as interim mayor until the next election. Katz said he had no plans to endorse any of the five city councilmembers.

City Councilman Henry Marraffa told MyMCMedia on Monday he wants the title.

“I am hoping to be the next mayor,” he said, adding that his is a pro-business councilmember and would like to bring that attitude to the mayor’s office.

City Councilman Michael Sesma would not say specifically whether he wants the mayoral post, but said “there are five candidates” alluding to the fact that all five councilmembers are eligible be appointed to the post by a vote of their peers.

According to the city’s charter, it is up to the City Council to select a replacement. A council member can nominate someone for the post and then by council vote appoint that person. That replacement mayor would serve until the next city election in November 2015 when there will be an election to fill the seat for the remaining two years of Katz’ term. The mayoral term is four years. After the 2017 election the term for mayor would return to a normal four year cycle.

Councilmembers Jud Ashman, Ryan Spiegel and Cathy Drzyzgula could not be reached for comment at the parade Monday.

While who will be mayor is still up in the air, what was a sure thing on Monday was the that the weather held out just long enough for the marching bands, politicians, and Peruvian dancers to delight the crowd. Official crowd estimates are not available, but Potter said the parade had all the pieces to make it a success.

“We once again had great weather. We had a great showing of units that participated and it was a great event,” she said.

 

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The city of Gaithersburg just got in 10,000 commemorative coins that should have arrived  in time for the Annual Labor Day parade held on Monday. According to Michele Potter, director of Parks, Recreation and Culture for the city, the coins did not arrive in time for city leaders to toss them to the crowd along […]

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Clowns, Cymbals but No Commemorative Coins at the Annual Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

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UPDATED, Sept 2, 4 p.m. – The city of Gaithersburg just got in 10,000 commemorative coins that should have arrived  in time for the Annual Labor Day parade held on Monday. According to Michele Potter, director of Parks, Recreation and Culture for the city, the coins did not arrive in time for city leaders to […]

Read more

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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.

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