Nearly half of the respondents in our OB Rag poll on the future of the Marshmallow Wars want to ban it or ban the fireworks on July 4th in order to get rid of the gooey controversy. A total of 45% of those who did respond said ban the fireworks or ban the marshmallow fight.
A plurality of those polled – 25% – picked “Ban the fireworks and you’ll stop the marshmallows” option. Another 20% want to “just ban the marshmallow war”.
Another significant number – 16% – want to keep the tradition but contain it and control it. They picked the option: “Keep the traditiion, but contain it in a “superdome”, “thunderdome” or “Marshmallow Areana”, with controlled access, limited time, and control what is brought in.”
Yet OBceans are still as divided as ever. Four per cent voted to move it to Dog Beach, another 2% want to deal with it by having police officers cite anyone who throws marshmallows on the beach. Only 2% wanted to keep the war.
A good number – 11% – are cynical about trying to change the tradition and opted for “The Marshmallow War has a life of its own, any attempt to stop or contain it will fail.” One per cent are at a loss of what to do, whereas 5% chose “other”.
Yet, another 14% said “I don’t know, but I don’t go down to the beach on the 4th of July because of the mess and potential injuries.” That’s a significant number and village leaders should definitely take note of it.
A total of 95 people responded to the poll – which ran for a week and half. The poll does not necessarily show what OBceans think on the issue, as there is no way to take into account just those from the community or to control who votes. It is, however, a reflection of what OB Rag readers believe.
It is clear by this poll at least that there is no one single solution that anyone is rallying around. A quarter of those who voted in the poll want to ban the fireworks on July 4th as a way to get rid of the marshmallow melee. This by itself is a very unpopular stance among other OBceans.
Having police write tickets for those who throw the white gobs would be a waste of their time and taxpayer monies. And to not do anything or throw our collective hands in the air and saying ‘I don’t know what to do!’ or shrugging our shoulders and repeating the mantra: ‘we can’t do anything because it has a life of its own’ – are not the answers either.
The event has been increasingly out of control. And the change in people’s temperament on the issue is apparent.
In a July 2010 post on this very issue, I reported:
69% of the respondents to the OB Rag poll want the Marshmallow Wars tradition to continue, although nearly half of those want some kind of controls placed on the event by volunteers, whereas 27% believe the event is out of control and want it to end. 3% wanted to study the issue. At that time we had 62 respondents.
A year earlier – July 2009 – , I posted this:
Our blog ran a poll for a week and received 80 respondents. Clearly most – 56 respondents, 71%, wanted the event to continue, although nearly half of them (33% of total) wanted some kind of volunteer-run controls placed on the craziness.
In opposition were 22 respondents – 28% – believed the Marshmallow War was out of control and needed to be ended.
These figures fit in with the Beacon’s poll, which asked “Has the annual OB Fourth of July post-fireworks marshmallow fight become an unsafe public event?” 67% said ‘no’ while 33% said ‘yes.’ The total number of respondents were not disclosed by the weekly newspaper. Their poll is supposed to run another two days.
We can see from the apparent evolution of people’s thoughts on the controversy, that there is a growing call for ending the tradition that began as a happy event between two families at different bonfires in the mid-1980s.
The OB Rag held the poll to continue the debate and discussion on this village issue. Others – including the OB Town Council – have also been conducting a similar poll. We need to continue trying to figure this problem out – it ain’t gonna solve itself.
It’s an OB problem and tradition – OBceans need to do something about it.