Don't be a Parade Squatter

 

Are You A Parade Squatter? – Are you one of those folks who can’t resist staking out your prime spot for the Fourth of July parade several days or even a week or more in advance? If so, then you are a parade squatter! Maybe the photo shown here is a little extreme, but sometimes it seems as if people start squatting earlier every year!

  Saint Peter isn’t the only area community that struggles with parade squatters and some have gone so far as to prohibit this practice along their parade routes.  But we would like to avoid being the parade police, so, before everyone lines up to cordon off their spot or “save” it with blankets staked to the ground or chairs tied to each other, let’s take a moment to review the rules of the game that we hope everyone will abide by. 

  • The parade takes place in a residential neighborhood with mostly privately owned property.  Although the boulevard is public property, the private property owners are responsible for maintaining the grass and they will most likely need to mow before the parade.  Staking your spot too early won’t allow them to care for the lawn and they may remove whatever you left so they can maintain the lawn.
  • Staking blankets or tarps to the ground will cause the grass underneath to become brown or yellow…even if the tarp is only down for a day or so.  And “staking” something into the ground is dangerous especially in the boulevard where lots of utility lines and pipes are buried.  This goes for those who put up tents and stake them to the ground also.
  • Ever put down a chair or really nice blanket and come back on parade day with it nowhere in sight?  That’s the risk you take of staking out your spot too early.  Not everyone is honest and lots of stuff goes missing.
  • Anything placed in Gorman Park will almost surely be moved before the event.  City crews work very hard to get the city looking spiffy for the Fourth when over 10,000 people come to town for the various events.  Public Works crews will mow the parks a day or two in advance, set up bleachers in Gorman Park and generally work in all the areas where folks want to stake their claim.  To prevent damage to our mowing equipment and injuries to our employees, anything left on the boulevard in any of the City’s parks earlier than the night before the parade may be removed.
  • Weather in July can include strong storms and if those storms come before the parade, a lot of the materials left to save a spot can end up blocks away or in people’s back yards.  Keep that in mind when saving your spot.
  • And then there is after the parade……everyone is expected to clean up after themselves and when you leave, we ask that you take all of your personal belongings home with you.  Unfortunately not everyone abides by this rule and the parade route is sometimes littered with broken chairs and other debris that just didn’t make the trip home with the owner.

    As tempting as it may be to save a spot days in advance, we ask that everyone be courteous to those who live along the parade route and limit saving your spot to the day before.   That also allows those who are coming from out of town to have the same opportunity for a prime viewing spot as those who live nearby and everyone can enjoy the parade!