The Ashland Chamber of Commerce will divide kids and adults in this year’s Halloween parade, after hundreds of costumed adults marched in the parade last year and scared the children, chamber officials said.
Children and their parents will march first in the annual parade, which begins at 3 p.m. Sunday at the corner of Gresham and East Main streets. Adults, whose attire “must be appropriate for a family audience,” will march behind the children.
They must also follow a new set of rules, including that participants’ costumes cannot include nudity, profanity, lewdness, illegal drugs, violence, obscenity, racism or offensive content, according to the chamber.
They cannot smoke or use devices with flames, such as torches, flame throwers or lanterns, or use explosive devices such as firearms and fireworks.
Also, the chamber for the first time has hired four security guards who will walk in front of the children during the parade.
“Last year there were many adults that were dressed in things that scared the children,” said school district Superintendent Juli Di Chiro, an ex-officio member of the chamber’s board of directors. “It was a little co-opted by adults.”
Because of last year’s disturbances, the chamber’s board of directors briefly discussed canceling the parade this year, before deciding to emphasize that it is a children’s parade, Di Chiro said.
The parade ends at 4:30 p.m. at the Plaza. Children can trick-or-treat at downtown businesses following the parade.
People who want to walk in the parade should arrive at the corner of Gresham and East Main streets at 3 p.m. to line up. A divider will separate the children and their parents from the adults until the parade starts.
The parade route and surrounding streets will be closed to vehicle traffic between about 2:30 and 5 p.m.
Details: www.ashlandchamber.com.
— Ashland Daily Tidings