May 18, 2022

A parade organizer hails their return this holiday season

“My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of the people trying to make it happen, because we know the only numbers that really matter are your economy.

Parade organizers across America are seeing interest return ahead of the holiday season. Hobie Pileski, co-owner of the Atlanta-based runway production company Argonne gorgesis one of them.

“We will take care of all aspects of the parade, from operations to finding sponsors, organizing volunteers and running the parade,” Pileski said.

Pileski first heard about the pandemic while planning a St. Patrick’s Day parade in March 2020.

“We were a little worried it would affect us, and in fact we had to cancel the parade just three or four days before the parade started,” Pileski said.

Pileski was worried about how the pandemic would affect other parades scheduled for the rest of the year – all of which ended up being canceled.

“Turns out we still haven’t had a full traditional parade since December 2019,” Pileski said.

With no traditional in-person parades, Pileski said some events have been put on hold and others have been adapted into drive-in parades, where spectators ride the parade route. Pileski said the PPP loan he received helped his business pull through.

“I think we stayed positive, things would eventually change,” he said.

Hobie Pileski in a holiday parade in 2018. (Courtesy of Pileski)

Pileski started noticing more 4th of July parades in the summer of 2021. The city of Atlanta also started approving more live events.

“It gave our clients a bit more confidence that in a few months they would be able to host their events,” Pileski said.

As demand for parades returns, Pileski said he is currently working on two holiday events and parades for next year. “Each city we deal with has its own regulations. We have to make sure we have handwashing stations and enough space for people to queue,” he said.

Parades are a tradition for many families; Pileski said he doesn’t see them leaving anytime soon.

“People go there every year, and they bring their kids and grandkids, and I think people have really missed those big traditional events,” Pileski said. “It’s just one more aspect of bringing the community together again.”

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