Kulpmont Cruise organizer Joe Cesari worked tirelessly to organize this year’s rendition of the annual shindig, just as he does every year, leading up to Sunday’s event.

He wrote press releases, he made numerous calls to media outlets and he did everything he could to promote the event, which serves as one of Kulpmont’s marquee gatherings of the year.

Then, Sunday morning, he stuffed a mannequin of Donald Trump into the backseat of his flawless antique Ford for a ride down Chestnut Street with his family to participate in the event he slaves over each year.

And, shortly after, he got a dose of an old adage that all of us have faced at some point in our lives — no good deed goes unpunished.

The backlash was almost immediate. Several spectators placed calls to Sound Off, suggesting the mere sight of Donald Trump had politicized the event and watered down what was otherwise a fantastic day for locals.

Facebook posts were made, complaints were levied and what should have been a relaxing Monday for Cesari after weeks of organizing the event instead turned into a day where he placed a call into Sound Off defending himself.

What a disgrace.

The mere display of the president is not grounds to be outraged.

Politics have continued to become more and more combative through the years, and Sunday’s Kulpmont Cruise is yet another example of what can result from it.

Cesari’s decision to ride with Trump may have been shortsighted, but it doesn’t make it inappropriate. When The News-Item saw pictures of the mannequin in the backseat, we had an idea there would be a few outspoken individuals who didn’t appreciate it — but that doesn’t mean they’re in the right.

At the end of the day, Cesari made a lighthearted joke by riding with the president and also managed to organize another spectacular event in Kulpmont.

There won’t be any complaints from us.

(1) comment


I have known Joe Cesari personally since the fifth grade at North Schuylkill and professionally for over thirty years as a CPA and attorney. Joe has more integrity than anyone I know. Though it would be perfectly understandable if Mr. Cesari walked away from future events because of the criticism levied against him, I doubt he has even given this situation a second thought. I hope Mr. Cesari continues to try to improve the quality of life in Kulpmont and the rest of our Coal Region. Sincerely, Stephen S. Slaton, CPA, Attorney

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