by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – A decision made yesterday by the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee to ban hoverboards in this year’s procession means that as a many as 30 of the scheduled 80 entries must revise their routines and performances by excluding the self-balancing scooters, according to a parade official with knowledge of the ruling.
While no one from the committee would go on record with the actual number of entries that indicated the intent to use hoverboards, those who are effected by the ban weren’t afraid to express their frustration at the timing of the news, announced less than two weeks ahead of the parade.
“This is a travesty,” said Antioch Brass Quintet trombonist Gary Mullin, who’s group was preparing to play songs like “Loch Lemond” and “An Irish Lullaby” while riding hoverboards. “They were really the focal point of our performance.”
Mullin wasn’t the only parade entrant caught off-guard by the announcement, as members from the American Legion, the Firefighters Highland Guard and the Elmhurst City Council confirmed that they, too, were planning to use hoverboards this year.
“I’m really disappointed,” said council member Lucille Patterson, who added that it took her months of practice in the City Hall parking lot to become proficient at riding one of the 12 hoverboards purchased by the city. “We wanted to give spectators something they’ll remember us by. Hopefully, (the committee) won’t also ban ‘Kiss Me, I’m an Alderman’ buttons.”
While the majority of participants intending to use hoverboards expressed anger at the decision, Chiefs Hockey Club coach Miles Porter took the news in stride.
“The kids on the team will just wear rollerblades instead,” said Porter. “As long as they can still carry torches in the parade, we really don’t mind.”
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place at 12 p.m on Saturday, March 5th.