MOUNT VERNON — Mayor Richard Mavis discussed the meeting held on Wednesday with representatives of the Heritage Centre Association, the News, the city departments and other volunteers of the Christmas Walk and Parade.
“The consensus was the parade route worked out well,” he reported, explaining that in previous years the parade was staged at the old football field in which worry of the ground being frozen or wet was always a concern. “That was always an issue depending on the weather but this year we had a hard surface to stage on so that was a real plus.”
Also the route was shorter, Mavis commented, the crowd was numerous and the weather was perfect.
The one concern representatives had was with the large crowd, some parade participants threw candy causing many youngsters to run out into the street to retrieve.
“But we did have a lot of people doing it correctly, they had people walking along the float handing candy out,” said Mavis. “There’s always that fear, when children run into the street, there maybe one driver not paying attention and doesn’t see the child. We will continue to ask paraders to have people handing the candy out rather than throwing it.”
Another concern of volunteers was with the need for more trash receptacles.
“Because of the huge crowd all of our trash receptacles were over filled, but next year, we concluded in the meeting, we would have extra trash receptacles available,” he said. “There was debris in the street and we did hear about it.”
People crossing the path of paraders was a concern as well.
“We encourage people not to dart back and forth on the street during the parade,” Mavis said, in precaution to the danger it poses to parade participants and spectators.
Mavis spoke highly of the success of the carousel and train, new additions to this year’s festivities, and was pleased to hear from merchants the favorable outcome of the parade and walk being held on the same day.
“Almost unanimously people were pleased with the crowd: Some people came early to shop, leaving briefly for the parade and then returned. Merchants thought people stayed later than they normally would, and this was helped by the good weather,” he said. “And with the Christmas tree lighting at 5 there was a nice crowd and that went well.”
“All present felt that this year’s Christmas Walk and Parade were a success.”