Drum Corps Associates threatens to change championships sites

by Kelly Bitter, DCW editor

Drum Corps Associates might be searching for a new location for their world championships next season if things can’t be worked out with the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department.

According to a letter to county commissioner Randy Castelanni from Tom Peashey, director of marketing and public relations for DCA, the “rude and discourteous treatment” by the deputies who provided security for the event has caused DCA to consider canceling its 2003 contract for Lackawanna County Stadium.

“We are totally baffled at this mistreatment and most unusual behavior and must request your assistance in assuring that there will be no repeat of this treatment next year,” Peashey wrote.

In his letter, Peashey gave several examples of the deputies’ poor treatment of DCA corps and individuals. One corps was warming up in a parking lot when sheriff’s deputies tried to make them leave. Upon learning that the corps had permission to be there, the deputies said the corps must stay on the gravel and would be arrested if they stepped on the asphalt. After hearing of the problems in the parking lot, another corps attempted to cross the road to warm up in a vacant area. They were stopped by a sheriff and were told they would be arrested for parading without a permit if they stepped one foot on the road.

“We have had numerous mailed in complaints, many stating that they would not come back to Scranton,” Peashey wrote. He estimated that the championship event brings millions of dollars to Scranton and surrounding communities.

Peashey said the Scranton police who provided security at other locations were “courteous and helpful,” in contrast with the sheriff’s deputies.