I have many things to be thankful for one of which is I am a cancer survivor and many in my family have worked to beat this dreadful disease, some we have lost because the beast was stronger and some are still fighting the battle. I am also thankful that the town that I live in supports so many wonderful events that help to fund research for things such as this, but with that said thankfulness went out the door this morning when loud music and voices traveled across the borough to awaken not only me, but many residents on a day where we should have had the choice to sleep in. Today November 23, 2012 Downingtown held a Turkey Trot, to benefit West’s track team and two very worthwhile cancer charities, which in itself is a great idea, but when an event bypasses ordinances of said borough and awakens residents before 7am then I am not so sure that the idea is such a good one.According to Code 173-6C "No mass gathering authorized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be held or conducted between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.” yet I and several other people were rudely awakened before 7am by music and voices over loud speakers. People began asking on JCG’s Facebook page what was going on and several were not exactly thrilled to have their day of rest arrested “173-6I. At no time shall music be played by mechanical devices or live performance which annoys, disturbs, endangers or might annoy, disturb or endanger the public's health, comfort, safety, repose and peace.” Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but those of us who live in Johnsontown live at the very edge of the borough and should not have heard the loudspeakers like it was happening in our own neighborhood, and even people on the east end of the borough were able to hear the hullabaloo.
In addition to the noise, Downingtown officers who were on night shift were required to work from 7pm to 11am instead of the normal 7pm to 7am and then will need to return to work at 6:45 this evening to work until 7am tomorrow morning. This means that they get no time with their families if they expect to be rested and ready to start their shift tonight which requires them to carry a firearm. Public Works also had to work overtime for this event because the course went through parts of town. West Chester had a Turkey Trot also this season, but they managed to have it without making it a nuisance at best and a non-holiday at worst.To start with there was no reason that this event had to be held today. Today is a day that should be spent with families and being thankful for what we have, not having our sleep interrupted by overly loud speakers spewing music and voices before 7am in the morning, having our officers and public workers spending extra time on duty and for people to say I did the Turkey Trot. There are other days leading up to and after Thanksgiving Day that the event could have been held with the same amount of enthusiasm.
Downingtown is known to be the place to have your event, but it shouldn’t be known as the place to have your event at the cost of the residents, officers and public workers and on a day that should be spent at a long table speaking to family we haven’t seen since last year and consuming food that could feed a small country, wondering if you are old enough to leave the kids table and being thankful enough that we are alive and for all we have.