Maybe the budget has been cut. Maybe they didn't have enough volunteers. Maybe they have run out of new, innovative ideas. Maybe there is infighting that has prevented the growth of the Albuquerque Founder's Day celebration.
What we do know is that we dig parades. We went to this year's celebration in anticipation of watching the Founders Day parade - a parade that has historically showcased our rich and diverse New Mexican culture. We left disappointed.
In years past we have seen tall, colorful puppets in the parade. It has also included a Native American presence packed full of color and sound.
This year it was a slow procession void of sound and enthusiasm. At least one banner carrier was holding up two signs (seriously, in New Mexico, there wasn't one "Lucero" to carry a banner?)
Despite the sad procession, there were some highlights that made us smile. The Mariachi Tradicional and Folklorico Fiesta Mexicana included Mariachi music and dancers who stomped and twirled in front of a large, happy crowd.
The tone changed and an upbeat buzz started with The Porter Draw. The crowd enjoyed these guys.
The Wild West in Plaza Viejo. The New Mexico Gun Fighters enthusiastically posed for us. They have live gunfights in the streets of Old Town on the second and fourth Sundays of every month.
The City's climbing wall. A nice quality of life project for the kids.
And who doesn't like a hot firetruck with some of Albuquerque's finest Firemen?