But no one should despair yet. According to The Record a replacement event is in the works:
It might be a block party, or it could be a hot dog-eating contest, or maybe even a classic car show, but about 25 people who came out for a community meeting Monday night vowed to find some way for the city to honor the 250th birthday of its favorite son later this year.
In the wake of the cancellation earlier this month of the annual Uncle Sam Birthday Parade, city officials, local business owners and concerned residents filled an upstairs room at Forty-One Sports Bar & Grille in Lansingburgh to discuss possible alternatives for this fall, as well as to address the long-term future of the celebration.
Now, for full disclosure, the whole Uncle Sam thing always struck us as rather stupid. As an actual person, Sam Wilson is irrelevant. He sold some meat, which was likely rancid by the time it reached the army, to make a profit. There is nothing special or particularly patriotic about his activities.
By an accident, his name became linked to what would become a national symbol. So, pride in the fact that Wilson lived in Troy for a few years and decided to die in Troy, seems silly. It is not an accomplishment.
Now, the parade replacements mentioned in the article sound, well, stupid. A hot dog eating contest? Is a public display of gluttony an appropriate celebration of a national symbol? A car show? A block party? A wet t-shirt contest? Maybe a bingo tournament.
Is this nonsense really about honoring a national symbol or is it about bringing people downtown to make a few bucks? If its about honoring a national symbol, a modest graveside ceremony seems reasonable. Some of the other ideas are just stupid, unrelated to the supposed goal and embarrassing.
Let it go.