SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) — The 37th Annual Salina Toy Run is expected to go on as planned after increased permit prices put its future in jeopardy.
The city of Salina had raised permit and application costs for a holiday parade to a total of $3,000. Salina Toy Run Organizer James Trepoy found out about the change when he went to obtain this year’s permit. Last year, there were no application costs associated with acquiring a permit, and the cost per permit was just $35.
The City of Salina suggested a “rolling parade” structure, which would mean there is a police escort, but they do not block streets off, which would require more resources. This would allow them to continue the tradition at a fraction of the price.
Trepoy, a long-time organizer of the Salina Toy Run, experienced sticker shock when he turned in this year’s application.
“In the past years, when I got the permit, it was $35. When I had to make an application, and I had seen $500, I went, ‘Woah. What is this,'” said Trepoy.
Around 300 bikers participate in the parade each year, giving out at least 600 toys for kids in need.
“When we do our toy run, we have people standing alongside that road waving us on, cheering us on, which is cool,” said Trepoy.
The money raised in 2022, which could’ve gone toward permit fees, was donated back to the community. The money was donated to the Ashby House Shelter as well as DVACK, an organization that offers support to survivors of domestic violence.
“I don’t have any money saved. Everything that is raised goes to DVACK and Ashby House, all the extra money,” said Trepoy.
Former Ashby House Client Sharon Lytle has experienced the good that comes from a toy run.
“Some parents aren’t able to buy birthday presents, or they’re doing well in school, and it just gives kids who haven’t had a lot that little special something,” said Lytle.
Salina’s City Manager, Mike Schrage, says the new increased prices to hold an event help cover the cost of the city’s involvement.
“The fees were really just trying to add some level of commitment on the part of the event organizer that was proportionate to what was being asked of us,” said Schrage.
City commissioners will discuss slashing prices for permits and application fees at their meeting on Monday. It is expected to be a packed house.
“There’s going to be a lot of people there, and hopefully they can get it done,” said Trepoy.
The proposed change to a rolling parade would cost $100 instead of $3,000.
Nearby cities, including Hutchinson and McPherson, say there are no fees attached to holiday parades like toy runs.