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Santa parade hurts business, will change route

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Santa will take a different route to get to downtown Ogdensburg this year.

Two restaurants claim that last year’s Saturday night Ogdensburg Light Up the Night/Santa Parade down Ford Street to City Hall kept customers away on a traditionally busy evening.

“It killed business,” said Kevin Manke, who owns Phoenix On The Bay, 1702 Ford St. “We had one table come in.”

One street over at The Place, 1602 Ford St., co-owner Maureen A. McNally agreed that business suffered on that key night because of the passing parade.

“Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are our busiest nights,” she said.

Parade chairperson Rhonda L. Roethel said Tuesday it took the parade procession 18 minutes to pass the restaurants after leaving the starting area in the 1800 block of Ford Street.

But, a businesswoman herself - a realtor - she didn’t dismiss Mr. Manke’s or Mrs. McNally’s concerns.

“I understand their point,” Ms. Roethel said. “We’re trying to work with them.”

Ms. Roethel has suggested that the parade leave the lot, proceed one block south to Greene Street, go one block west to Rosseel Street and north to Ford Street, heading west downtown to the event’s destination at City Hall.

“That way, we’ll avoid the businesses,” she said.

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