Parades are a blast. There are decorations, treats, costumes, music, and always something to celebrate. But with celebration also comes responsibility. Parade safety is extremely important. You want the parade to be an event that people remember for all the right reasons- not because something went horribly wrong. Make sure you’re well-prepared when it comes to parade safety.
Choosing Safe Decorations
While sparkle and pizazz are what make some floats better than others, you have to draw the line somewhere. Never allow any sort of flame to be a part of someone’s decorations in the parade. Even a sparkler gone awry could cause a catastrophe if it comes in contact with a paper streamer. All parts of the parade float should be flame resistant or fire retardant. There are multiple sprays and coatings that can be used on the float to make sure it is safe from fire.
Make sure each float is given a thorough inspection before the start of the parade. If anything looks unsafe, have it removed or do not allow the float to be in the parade. There are plenty of ways to be creative with paint and floral sheeting without involving fire.
Still, have fire extinguishers ready in case something goes wrong.
Costumes mixed with machinery are a potential for disaster. No costumes in the parade should extend more than a few feet from the person wearing the costume and definitely shouldn’t drag on the ground. Things like long scarves or dresses could get caught in wheels.
If you’re parade is at night, make sure none of the costumes are dark colors.
Flat Bed and Car Safety
First of all, every driver in the parade must have a valid driver’s license. Make sure they know that drinking, smoking or texting/talking on a cellphone is strictly prohibited while driving in the parade.
Children on floats or in trucks should always be seated and under adult supervision. Anyone standing should have some sort of support that will prevent them from falling. Do not allow people to jump on and off the float while it is in motion.
Set a speed limit for your floats. There’s typically no reason any vehicle or float should go faster than around 5 mph.
Distributing Favors and Candy
Most parades and/or communities have outlawed throwing candy or favors to the crowd in a parade. It’s just too dangerous and unfortunately the act has resulted in injuries and even death. If you insist on passing out goodies, make sure your parade participants literally walk up to people in the crowd and hand them the treats. There’s no reason to give anyone in the crowd a reason to run into the street.
Be Ready for the Worst
As they say, “Better safe than sorry!” Have first-aid kits available at various spots along the parade route. It’s also not a bad idea to make sure law enforcement is aware of your parade and will help with crowd control. They may even suggest an EMS be nearby in case of an emergency.
Law enforcement can also fill you in ahead of time of local parade rules and regulations.
Whether you’re in the parade or running it, make sure you put safety first. Here is a checklist to help you remember these safety tips: