You could just come to village hall midday Saturday for the free chili dogs or to grab an autograph from the former NFL player. But you’ll feel rightly guilty if you haven’t also filled out your census form and mailed it back.

Encouraging participation in the census is the worthy goal of Saturday’s parade and party. Filling out the form is remarkably simple and having a complete count of every Forest Parker is critical to all sorts of government funding over the decade to come. When local budgets are tight in the schools, parks and municipal governments – and they’ve never been tighter – maximizing state and federal monies makes more sense than ever.

So march in the parade if you are in the mood. Grab a hot dog. Or just fill out the darned form.