Parade procedures reviewed

— The safety of parade participants and observers should be of greater concern to the town, a longtime parade organizer told the Hayden Board of Trustees Thursday.

Don Johnson, who chairs the parade in Hayden for Colorado Days, asked board members to revise a few parade procedures to prevent future accidents.

"The one reason I'm here is concern of safety, that I've complained about in the past years but with more relevance to this year than it ever has been in the past," Johnson said.

The Hayden Chamber of Commerce sponsors and organizes the Colorado Days parade, which runs in late July.

Johnson said he wanted to see candy throwing prohibited in any future parades.

Children who run out into the street to get candy could be hit by passing cars or floats, he said.

A few stories of candy hitting children in the face have also alerted him to the danger of throwing candy, Johnson added.

"Somebody is going to get hurt," he said. "I think we're lucky that we haven't had an accident."

He suggested that people who march in the parade place the candy directly in children's hands.

Shriners parades already prohibit candy thrown by people on floats and on foot because of liability issues, he said.

Parades in Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek and Meeker also prohibit candy throwing, he said.

Johnson also sought the board's cooperation with changing parade applications.

He said the town of Hayden insures parades, but he said he is concerned accidents that occur during the setup of the events might not be insured.

Setup of barricades to block traffic and the parade lineup usually begins at 9 a.m., but the town's insurance might not kick in until the start of the parade, he said.

"You can't line up the parade without stopping traffic, but the insurance says you don't have to shut down traffic until 10 a.m.," Johnson said. "We need to change the application as to when the parade starts lining up and not when the parade starts."

Board Member Richard "Festus" Hagins agreed that the time on the application should be extended.

"We need to express it to the people who are holding the event that the parade is only a part of the event," Hagins said. "You need time to set up and disperse."

Police Chief Jody Lenahan said the change would be feasible.

"What we might do is shut down a few blocks at a time," Lenahan said.

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