City pops long-standing joy balloon of the 4th of July Parade with new stern-faced prohibitions

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I received an email from Mimi Gentilini, she of Mimi’s Good Foods fame, and a multi-year entrant in Peachtree City’s Fourth of July Parade, who has some concerns about new rules about parade entrants. She writes as follows:

New parade rules ruin long-standing traditions with no explanations

I want to discuss the ruination of the long-standing tradition of the Peachtree City Fourth of July parade.

The rules this year — pardon my French — but it is a total s***t show. Sorry about the swearing; I have a New Jersey heritage.

No longer may you throw candy into the crowd; no longer may it be a Tootsie Roll. It must be a pre-wrapped candy.

You must certify that you have someone that can walk 2 1/2 miles in the heat because if they become exhausted, they are not permitted to change positions with the driver any longer. So I guess we just leave the [exhausted] ex-candy handers laying in the street, that’s my guess.

All candy and items given to parade viewers must be done hand-to-hand, no throwing. In addition after registering on May 9 for the parade, I must re-register it at Braelinn Elementary at 6:30 the morning of the parade to confirm that I am going to be compliant.

No longer will I be assigned a spot in the parade until that time. So I hope they understand that this 70-year-old will register at 6:30 but I’m going home for a potty break before the parade starts.

Sounds like a total s**t show to me.

Simple solution to all of this: Don’t change the rules, and parents, supervise your children!

Mimi Gentilini, owner of Mimi’s Good Foods off Kelly Drive in the Industrial Park.

 

Here’s a copy of the party-pooper, spoil-sport city rules sent to all parade participants (bold-faced emphasis added by me):

“The route is approximately 2 miles. Anyone walking the route (spotters, marching band members, etc.) MUST be physically capable of walking two miles WITHOUT STOPPING.

“Giveaways

“• TOSSING OF CANDY & OTHER ITEMS IS NOT PERMITTED. To prevent spectators from entering the parade route to retrieve items, all entries planning to hand out items MUST have spotters walking alongside both sides of their entry to hand out items without stopping. NO LOOSE CANDY THROWING IS ALLOWED. Candy and small items must be contained within bags or by other means.

“• Pencils, pens, sports bottles, LOLLIPOPS, sharp objects, water balloons, FRUIT or any item which may present a hazard are NOT allowed.

“• PARADE PARTICIPANTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO WALK THROUGH THE CROWD OF SPECTATORS TO DISTRIBUTE GIVEAWAYS as this causes a dangerous gap in the parade. You must be moving forward at all times.

“• Parade participants are not allowed to SQUIRT WATER GUNS, SPRAY SILLY STRING OR WATER, OR THROW CONFETTI. THIS INCLUDES CONFETTI CANNONS.

“Preventing Gaps

“Please be aware of the dangers of gaps in the parade! Small children and other spectators have been known to enter the street during a gap, believing that the parade is over, and this places them directly in the path of oncoming parade vehicles. For this reason, the following rules MUST be observed:

“• Campaigning is NOT permitted.

“• Participants are not allowed to perform demonstrations that require stopping (such as dance routines, cheerleading routines, bicycle figure eights, dribbling balls, sword fights, workouts of any kind etc.).

“• Appropriate music is allowed and encouraged, but STOPPING TO PERFORM IS NOT!

“Other Safety Policies

“• SPOTTERS ARE REQUIRED TO WALK ON EACH SIDE OF ALL ENTRIES LARGER THAN A GOLF CART FOR THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE VEHICLE. Spotters MUST be age 16 or older. The purpose of a spotter is to keep the crowds safely away from the parade vehicle and may hand items out as they continue walking. They may not encourage spectators to enter the parade route for any reason and may not enter the crowd to hand items out. THEY MUST STAY WITH THE VEHICLE AT ALL TIMES. SPOTTERS MAY NOT THROW CANDY OR OTHER ITEMS.

“• All floats or trucks carrying riders ARE REQUIRED to have side rails at least 36” high around riders and must have hand holds for standing participants. Sitting on the sides of pick-up truck beds is not allowed.

“• PARTICIPANTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO EXIT AND RE-ENTER A FLOAT, OR ANY VEHICLE, ONCE THE PARADE HAS STARTED.(!!!!)

????????????????????????????????

So, are you — like me — wondering how have we survived all these decades of parades without such heavy-handed nanny rules?

In keeping with the party-pooper spirit replacing a once joyously open parade, city council members and city staff responsible for imposing these happiness-dampening rules are hereby sentenced to roll along at the bitter end of the parade on never-lubricated oversize skateboards.

They are not allowed to dismount until they arrive at The Fred, where they will doubtlessly be gasping for breath while thinking of other ways to hog-tie anybody who might be suspected of nostalgically remembering the fun parades of the past.

To all else, Happy Fourth of July, and fly your Stars and Stripes with pride.

[Cal Beverly is editor and publisher of The Citizen since 1993. He has reared children — now grown — who somehow managed to grab Tootsie Rolls and other tossed candies at multiple parades over many years without major injuries.]

36 COMMENTS

  1. Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU (yes, I’m being sarcastic) to whichever dimwits came up with the new parade restrictions. Forcing floats to have spotters is ridiculous and limiting the number of parade entries successfully took a great parade and made it very pedestrian. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..if our elected “experts” (i’m sure our fine mayor considers herself one as she seems to think highly of herself) want to limit entries – lead by example. I couldn’t care less about seeing our mayor, or any councilman or supervisor, or anyone running for political office, in the parade. Get them outta there. Bring back bands, horses, the shriner mini cars, and more businesses and civic organizations.

    I was happy though to not see any rainbow warriors in the parade. We survived your entire month of forcing your debauchery down our throat….thanks for ending it on June 30.

    • Thank you to all who participated in the parade. I enjoyed each and every effort to put the parade together.
      It provides an opportunity for our city to come together and celebrate our nation’s independence.

      This year’s parade did not inspire me. My spouse said it was boring. I’m now trying to encourage my grandson to work on a float for next year with his Scout Troop. Community participation seemed limited this year and I appreciate those who did participate. If my spouse can help get a Dragon Boat Team together, she will like the team to create a float. As for me, I’m all in for next year. The parade is an opportunity to celebrate and promote our independence and freedoms (what remains of them). I will be amiss if I don’t contribute.

      The fireworks were excellent. Thank you PTC!

      • There is an elephant in the room; it isn’t a Republican and nobody is talking about it. What Republicans are there? None that I see. I thought they died; didn’t it happen during the Tea Party days? I believe what we see now is the Trump Party. All hail, Trump! (or is it “The Führer?”) Take your pick; it’s the same.

        Given the difficulty of keeping Trumpism from destroying America, I will like to see the current President quickly nominate four Justices to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts finally baffled me with his rubbish about “absolute immunity” or “presumptive immunity.” Nothing about humankind is absolute; even death is questioned.

        • Ah, the modern day Tea Party Movement (not to be confused with the Patriotic one) started soon after the Obama inauguration that launched the Homeowners Affordability & Stability Plan that was in response to the massive foreclosures during the great recession (2008-2009).

          Yes at the outset these were fiscal conservatives but later in that year, online conspiracies and hate speech launched into varying subject matters like “birtherism.” Such lies and innuendoes morphed into an ideology of great mistrust and misinformation that laid the groundwork for the rise of DJT and his MAGA movement. Mr. Tucker you speak of an elephant in the room but it’s more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing or perhaps better, a wolf in an elephant costume.

          • I attended some early Tea party meetings expecting to hear about conservative fiscal policy. I was amazed that taxes were never mentioned. The focal point of every meeting was to thwart every Obama initiative without regard to merit. I soon discovered that I was really attending a Klan meeting sans white sheets.

            It’s not difficult to see how the Tea party morphed into MAGA’s basic appeal to ethnocentricity and heterosexuality. Trump has never claimed to be a fiscal conservative, and his administration did nothing to reduce spending or the national debt. But he knows how to exploit grievance and division.

          • If you think calling out a dishonest media for what they are, calling out dishonest lifelong political hacks and leeches for what they are, and taking a stand on the right side of many challenging issues like defense, dealing with foreign governments, and dealing with terrorists is exploiting grievance and division, then here’s your sign.

            PS – name one thing that anyone on the right (not the extreme fringe right) has done in the past 8 years that’s ethnocentric.

          • Wing, for you, “Gov. Jeff Landry signed legislation on Wednesday requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in Louisiana, making the state the only one with such a mandate and reigniting the debate over how porous the boundary between church and state should be.” New York Times, June 26, 2024.

          • I fail to see how requiring the Ten Commandments is ethnocentric. Our country’s founding heavily relied on men who followed the Ten Commandments and we believe in God-given unalienable rights. The Ten Commandments aren’t the issue – it’s the cess pool of culture rot that’s taken over the country that is. No one is saying you have to worship God….but having a foundation on which our values are based seems….well….based to me.

          • Wing. I will like to believe that in understanding and following the “Ten Commandments” every person, and society as a whole, will benefit. Because the Ten Commandments originated in Jewish (and embraced by Judeo-Christian) religious culture, it promotes a specific standard from a particular culture for adoption by other cultures, making it ethnocentric. Concerning “ethnocentric” and Louisiana’s law requiring posting the Ten Commandments in every classroom, it directly or indirectly promotes a Judeo-Christian belief in a secular environment without regard for the separation of church and state.

            The display of the Ten Commandments in government facilities has been a topic of legal and constitutional debate. While some argue that it celebrates the historical significance of these Commandments, others view it as a violation of the Establishment Clause. From Supreme Court rulings:

            In the 1980s, the Supreme Court ruled in Stone v. Graham that displaying the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms violated the Establishment Clause. The court found that the Commandments were “plainly religious in nature” and extended beyond secular matters.

            In 2005, the court issued conflicting decisions. In Van Orden v. Perry, it allowed a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Texas state capitol, citing its historical context. However, in McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union, the court held that displays in Kentucky counties were predominantly religious and unconstitutional.

            Louisiana’s Recent Law: Louisiana recently passed a law requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom. Supporters argue it honors the commandments’ historical role, while opponents, including civil liberties groups, consider it coercive and a violation of the First Amendment.

            Opinions on this issue vary, but it’s essential to balance historical context with constitutional principles when considering such displays in government facilities if governments want to avoid ethnocentric conflicts. As for me, I’m not opposed to theocracy as long as the governing views are the same as my religious views. Unfortunately, that does not make for a sound government in a free society, or at least not until the society finds true freedom in practicing its religion.

  2. PTC issues ridiculous parade rules that guarantee we’ll be talking about “the good old days” afterwards.

    Remember to vote for those who will throttle the Nanny State and get back to common-sense government.

    • I agree that the PTC parade rules are foolish, but both sides of the political spectrum are very committed to limiting freedoms that they don’t endorse. When a political party strips a woman of the right to control what goes on below her waist, it is difficult to somehow claim to be champions of individual freedom.

        • Happy 4th Wing. The point here is that both political parties will gladly restrict freedoms, not whether you or I agree with the restrictions. The governor of Florida seems to come up with a new restriction everyday, and the governor of California never met a restriction he didn’t like.

    • Hmm… It’s a fine line as to whether this could be done legally. See: 14 CFR 107.23(b), 14 CFR 107.39, and 14 CFR Part 107 Subpart D. If you’re operating from a golf cart, 14 CFR 107.25(b) applies. Also see 14 CFR 107.36 if you plan to drop “bulk value” candy. And whatever you do, don’t overfly a golf cart or else 14 CFR 107.145 applies.

  3. When did PTC turn into California? Since when do the citizens of this community need to be treated like irresponsible children? Well, you get what you deserve if you keep electing people who think they know better than you.

  4. I thought I also heard somewhere that the parade has a limit of 100 entries…….is that correct? If so – can we BAN ALL POLITICIANS INCLUDING THE MAYOR from having a float. No one wants to see politiicans running for office or in office. Get out and make room for the civic clubs and businesses that actually make our community great.

  5. We live in a very litigious society where cases go to court for civil damage awards and penalties from incidents like “throwing candy at my kid during a parade route and they got injured” or worse, “you enticed my kid with candy into the street to pick it up and they got hit by a float. Safety measures are put in place because of the need for safety, especially when children are present and parents themselves lack certain skill sets like common sense.

    • I understand the purpose is government is protection. It always perplexes me when government is protecting us from ourselves. There are ways to mitigate risks; effective governments are participatory experiments. There are always risks, the key is to manage them with the least intrusive manners.

      P.s., I used to get angry when I would get to the parkway at dawn and see tarps all over the place. I live one block from the parkway. I used to find myself looking for a “spot” to park the cart and drink a cup of coffee. It’s much better (for me) now. I wasn’t a crybaby crying; I was just angry. We live where we live for reasons.

    • Doon,
      The Peachtree City parade has been going on since the 1970’s, as far as I know, the city has never been sued bc of candy throwing! I participated in the parade with my father throwing candy when I was 12 yo…it is a city tradition that everyone looks forward to UNTIL y’all decided to elect a democrat control freak going through the change WOMAN mayor!!! The city is going to suck until she’s outed/voted out….whomever thought it was a great idea to vote her in, needs their head check! Millennial parents need to keep their children in check or stay home…don’t ruin it for everyone else!

  6. First it was crybabies complaining that you couldn’t “mark your spot” because the grass died (the grass never died before) and the spots were all taken up. Now it’s this ridiculousness. Whats next year? Stop the police state! The people have had enough.

  7. I can’t encourage rule-breaking. Here’s a recommendation for the future. The primary parade sponsor (City) shall initially establish a parade committee from previous parade participants. Let the committee submit participation rules to the City for the Safety Director’s endorsement. After the following parade, establish subsequent committees with representation (I prefer 30 – 50 percent) from the previous parade. Try to minimize local government input allowing the people to celebrate Independence Day. As for “Campaigning is NOT permitted,” I say hogwash! I want to see politicians kiss babies and eat hotdogs. Finally, I enjoy the few times a “Tootsie Roll” makes it through my grandkids’ filter and lands at my feet.