Christmas Safety... in July
Small town Christmas parades (like Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day parades) still take place all over the country during the holiday season. At first glance, you’d think there’s nothing to it. Tell residents when and where to line up and it’ll all just happen.
That could be the case, if your neighborhood is just Santa and his reindeer, but for larger parades -- with floats, marching bands and the fez-wearing Shriners – there are some safety and logistical measures that need to take place. Here are a few and some you might apply to any outdoor event:
Have an organized registration process.
Put floats in order as to not crowd too many floats, bands or walkers together.
Create a “parade lane” with traffic cones, barriers or police tape.
Prohibit the throwing of candy and trinkets from parade route (to keep kids from running into the street).
Conduct PR well in advanced (so everyone knows when and where streets will be closed).
Make sure emergency vehicles have egress and ingress. Stage EMS if you have room.
Start on time and keep to a schedule, especially for opening and closing roads.
Lastly, make sure you have a plan for a street sweeper or public works to empty trash cans and pick up litter.