Resident unhappy with parade route

Published 5:46 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dear Editor,

In reading the article about the Christmas parade in the Alabaster newsletter recently I see where it is believed that it was a great success. My husband and I took my grandson to the parade, and yes, while it was a success (to a certain degree), I believe the location was awful … really awful.

Everyone who wanted to see the parade had to be “packed” into virtually the length of 3 or 4 blocks. This meant that the crowd was about 7-10 people deep. To make matters worse, most of the floats were set up to be one-sided, and the people on the floats were told to only throw stuff to the crowds on the store side of the street.

My grandson is only 3 and a half years old. Because of the crowds there was no way he could see anything, so we stood on the opposite side (where obviously no one was) in order for him to see. It was not only frustrating that we saw the backside of most of the floats, but that we were told the people couldn’t throw him anything.

We didn’t have much of a choice — either we could stand on the side with everyone else and he couldn’t see anything but would possibly get a piece of candy, or stand on the other side where he could see some of the parade and not get any candy. Really not much of a choice, huh?

While having everyone “packed” into a compact area made it easier on the police and the “staging,” it did not do any favors for the viewers. In the past, when the parade went down Highway 31, it most enjoyable for families because we were able to spread out and really see the parade. My preference would be to go back to having the parade on Highway 31; however, if this can’t be done, then at least make it so people can stand on both sides of the parade route (to help spread the crowds out and facilitate actually “seeing” the parade better).

This is not only my opinion, but I did hear others make similar comments. Hopefully some of these problems can be corrected for next year’s parade.

Carol Schmidt