Winterhaven is getting closer and it is an all encompassing concern for me and my family about the change from mules to vehicles. I keep getting all wrapped up in my emotional concern for our lost tradition. I am so sad about this huge loss of our very identity. It is who we are! I must admit, we are very proud of the fun mule rides we have provided to Tucson for many years. ... then I stop and think... Is it really fair for me to be so self absorbed? Is any of this really about my pride? Maybe it is about the fact that it is difficult facing change. Any kind of change brings stress... animosity.... concern... Especially when the change is not one that feels good. Do we worry that no one will support this change? That the Festival itself will suffer from this change? Of course. You guys are the reason we have been doing this all these years. Likewise, you guys are the reason for the change... I ask myself... is it reasonably prudent for us to take our teams in there knowing that the potential risk has increased for an accident simply due to the popularity of the event? Are we being fair as vendors to try to hang onto our tradition, simply for the tradition? Or the popularity of the event? Or the revenue? Or because we haven't hurt anyone?
I suppose everything is simple... risk vs tradition. Has the risk increased? Yes... Why? Simply due to the increase in foot traffic inside of the event. Has the tradition changed? Hmmm... The residents are still going to decorate. There will still be the Tucson Food Bank collecting donations and helping those in need. There will still be wagons, trolleys, and vendors selling their cocoa, popcorn and cupcakes. There will still be Tucsonans walking around and enjoying the lights. There will still be memories made, relationships begun, and families strengthened through the power of sharing and spending time together. Therefore, is it really going to ruin the festival? I don't think so. I sure hope everyone understands the struggle we all face in this decision. All us mule vendors as well as the Winterhaven Committee. We have to remember, this is a decision for YOU! Whether any of us like it or not... it is a good thing. It will contribute to the safety and beauty of this event. We are supportive of this decision. We will look forward to your support! I have faith that it is out there Tucson.