OGDEN — Parades in Utah are part of the summer fun, and officials want to keep it that way.
It’s not just the 24th of July that bring in the bands and floats — numerous communities also host their own annual celebrations.
Bountiful Police Department says a significant problem that crops up each year during the city’s Handcart Days Parade, set for Friday this year, is kids running into the road to collect candy and trinkets tossed by parade participants.
The problem is not unique to Bountiful.
Ogden Police Lt. Will Cragun said parents need to “pay attention to their children and keep them with them.”
Children running into the road to collect candy causes problems not just with floats but with police patrolling the parade route on motorcycles, he said.
Roy Fire Chief Jason Poulsen said each year during the Roy Days Parade, organizers encourage people in the parade to “throw the candy out far enough it goes to the kids, not the kids to the candy.”
When children run into the parade, it causes a hazard because a vehicle can run over them or they can be trampled by a horse, officials say.
“Floats aren’t just going down the middle of the road,” Poulsen said.
Motorcycles, bicycles, unicycles, four-wheelers, horses and golf carts are going from side to side.
North Ogden prohibited tossing candy from floats for this year’s Cherry Days Parade on July 4 after several near misses in recent years. People walked alongside many floats to distribute candy and other goodies more directly to spectators.
Parents should require their children to be within an arm’s length so “you can be the first to bring the child back” to the sidelines if the child does try to wander into the road, Poulsen said.
Also, officials are asking parade spectators to remember how hot it can get and that they should bring water and, if possible, an umbrella or floppy hat for shade.
Sunscreen is also recommended.
Officials recommend the following to make parade-watching safe:
• Do not carry too many handheld devices.
• Examine candy before allowing children to eat it.
• Establish a family meeting place, such as a street corner or in front of a store, just in case people get separated.