Officials urge parade safetyPublished 4:42pm Tuesday, December 3, 2013
City and county officials are stressing parade safety for the upcoming Russellville Christmas parade and surrounding Christmas parades.
Franklin County Chamber of Commerce director Cassie Medley said the issue of parade safety has come up in the past, and most recently came up after the Russellville homecoming parade in October.
Medley said the main issue is children and even some adults getting into the parade route to retrieve candy, which can pose a safety threat to not only the parade watchers but also the people in the parade route as well.
“We know it is exciting, especially for the children, to gather up the candy that is thrown out during a parade, but we don’t want these children to get hurt in the process,” Medley said.
“We are just asking that parents keep a close eye on their children during the parade and not let them enter the street or get close to the parade route.
“There will be plenty of candy thrown out during each parade, and we don’t want something bad happening over something as small as a piece of candy.”
Medley said she has also asked each driver in the parade to drive slowly and remain focused on the parade route.
“This year we’ve asked the drivers to not throw out any candy and just let their passengers participate and throw candy to the parade goers,” Medley said.
“We want the parents to help us by keeping a close eye on their children, but we all know that children can sometimes get away from us, so we want all the drivers to be alert, especially with the Christmas parades being at night.”
To add to this year’s festivities, Medley said entertainment will be provided at the Russellville Christmas parade starting at 5 p.m. at the intersection of Lawrence Street and Jackson Avenue. She said a variety of local entertainment was scheduled to perform.
Medley said a stage would be set up for the entertainment as well as for the parade emcee, Bert Fowler, and the parade float judges, who will judge floats that all center on the theme “Christmas stories” from different Christmas books or movies.
“Everyone loves going to the different parades we have throughout the county during the year, and we just want to make sure these events continue to be both fun and safe for our citizens,” Medley said.