Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Battle of the Banners

We've all seen them--the banners hung over the roadway at the three major gateways to Hudson (Fairview Avenue, Worth Avenue, and South Third Street) announcing upcoming events in Hudson. To have such a banner hung for your event, you submit an application, pay a fee, provide the banner, and the Department of Public Works will hang the banner for you for two weeks prior to the event. This service is offered on a first come–first served basis, which is starting to cause a problem in Hudson, when events--especially in the summer--occur on an almost weekly basis. That is just what is happening with the lineup of events in June.

In 2015, the Flag Day Parade, Hudson Pride Weekend, and Hudson River Exchange will occur on consecutive weekends: June 13, June 19 and 20, June 26 and 27 respectively. Rich Volo, president of the Hudson Pride Foundation, told the Common Council Arts, Entertainment & Tourism Committee last night that he would never dream of having the Pride Weekend banner hang for two weeks, thus preventing the Elks Clubs from having a banner announcing the Flag Day Parade, but this is just what the organizers of Hudson River Exchange are doing to the Pride Foundation. When the Hudson Pride Foundation submitted its application to have its banner hung for the week prior to June 20, it was discovered that Hudson River Exchange had, the day before, requested that its banner hang for two weeks prior to its summer market, thus shutting Pride Weekend out of the banner schedule completely. Requests made directly to the organizers of Hudson River Exchange reportedly had failed, so Volo and Hudson Pride Foundation treasurer Harry Laughlin appealed to the committee to intervene and make one week the limit for banner display instead of two weeks.

It was also suggested that other locations, in addition to the three gateways to the city, might be designated--perhaps on Warren Street--as a way to accommodate the demand for banners. Supervisor Ellen Thurston (Third Ward) advised from the audience that hanging banners over the roadway on Warren Street had been banned after a banner announcing Winter Walk, which had been stretched across Warren Street, was blown loose by the wind, fell, and damaged a parked car. 

Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), also speaking from the audience, expressed the opinion that "one of the beauties of Warren Street is the the vista down to the river." "It would be a shame," said Friedman, "to obstruct that."

No resolution to the problem was reached at last night's meeting, but Common Council president Don Moore, who serves ex officio on the committee, announced that he would have to recuse himself from the discussion because his daughter is one of the organizers of Hudson River Exchange.


  1. Does Hudson River Exchange really need their banner hanging for 2 weeks shutting out the Hudson Pride Parade from hanging their banner? Guess some organizations don't really believe in the "Good Neighbor Policy". We should all take this into consideration when deciding who we want to support in the future!!!

    1. It does sound rather greedy and un-community like Marty.

  2. It is my understanding that Hudson River Exchange has released the week and it is now available to Hudson Pride. All's well that ends well.

  3. Now thats 'sportsmanship" we can all get behind!