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Mayoral candidate working to save Thanksgiving parade

Charlotte City Council member and mayoral candidate James Mitchell says he is working to resurrect the city’s Thanksgiving Day parade and hopes to have an announcement to make soon.

In a statement issued by his campaign, Mitchell said he has been working the phones “with prominent local business leaders over the past several days” trying to save the Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade, a tradition since 1947.

Belk, the parade’s title sponsor for several years, notified the Carrousel group last year that it wouldn’t be renewing its sponsorship. The Carrousel board said last week that it couldn’t find another title sponsor and would have to cancel this year’s parade.

One board member said he thought the $75,000 cost of the sponsorship had proved too steep for businesses.

Mitchell said he is working with fellow council member David Howard, who is seeking re-election, and Michael Smith of Center City Partners, in trying to line up financial support for the parade.

“We expect to have an official announcement soon about how we will carry on this time-honored tradition,” Mitchell said in the statement. “This is too important of a legacy for Charlotte for us to just let it go away.”

Mitchell faces Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon, Gary Dunn and Lucille Puckett in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary.

Frazier: 704-358-5145; @ericfraz on Twitter
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