SALT LAKE CITY — In the wake of the Kaysville parade tragedy where an 8-year-old girl lost her life after getting run over by a trailer, some cities are increasing or changing safety measures for upcoming parades.
The new safety measures include no more kids getting on and off trailers or walking around them.
“We don’t want to have a celebration at the cost of the safety of our residents,” said Brigham Mellor, the assistant city manager of Farmington. He also oversees parades as the Parks and Recreation Department director.
“Tuesday morning we met and we all talked about how we could make this parade safe for our residents,” Mellor said. They approved safety changes that will be in effect for Saturday’s parade as part of the Festival Days in Farmington.
“Nobody is getting on or off floats anymore. It doesn’t matter if you are city council, it doesn’t matter if you are a firefighter you are not getting on and off floats under no circumstances,” said Mellor. He also said anyone who walks in a parade must be at least 10 feet away from the float or trailers and if kids are throwing candy while walking they must get it from a wagon or backpack.
“Our mandate is to look after the health and safety and well-being of our residents and so we immediately got to work analyzing rules and procedures and things other cities are doing,” he said.
Just south of Farmington, Bret Morgan is preparing for the Bountiful Handcart Days Parade which will be held on Saturday, July 16. Morgan says they are preparing for 60,000 or more spectators because this is the first year it’s back since the pandemic hit. “We think there is going to be a lot of energy in the community.”
Their committee sent out an email to participants reminding them about safety measures including assigning adults to walk along the wheel axel of the trailers.
“Anyone that needs to approach for any reason we are asking them to approach from the tail end of the entry,” he said. “We have gone into it with safety is the first priority then we’ve got to bring the fun.”
Tressa Christensen who is the chairperson for the Bluffdale Parade said they too are making changes this year.
“We will now be requiring an adult at every axel for all of our motorized vehicles,” she said. “We just want to take every precaution to make sure our parade is as safe as possible.”
Days of 47Greg James the executive vice president of the ’ Parade in downtown Salt Lake City also approved new safety measures for the July 23 event.
The changes put a stop to throwing candy, bar flatbed trailers, no longer allow kids under 14 to walk in the parade, and any youth on a float must have a handgrip and a restraint.
“Our number one issue is to have a great celebration of the founding of the state,” he said. “We want people to be as safe as they can be.”