response to the recent Christmas parade accidents in Freeport, Maine on
Friday, December 1, 2006 and in Portsmouth, NH on Saturday, December 2,
2006, the Southern Maine Parade Committee has decided to take the following
steps to help prevent a similar occurrence in its Christmas
Parade in Wells, Maine.
We are in the process of personally contacting the supervisors of each
group, and especially youth-groups, that are participating in the parade,
and asking them to reevaluate the safety of their floats and the supervision
that will be provided for the participants of their groups.
want everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves at the Southern Maine Christmas
Parade, but the recent tragedies that occurred over the past weekend in
both Freeport and Portsmouth have reminded us that safety should always
come first, and that we need to be especially aware of our children's safety
in this sort of event. Our hearts go out to the families of those
affected by the tragic accidents in Freeport and Portsmouth.
We will personally inspect the floats in the pre-parade assembly area,
and interview the supervisors of each group to make certain that the safety
of the participants is assured. If we find that the safety of the
participants is in jeopardy by virtue of the design of the floats or the
lack of supervision for each group, especially youth-groups, we will not
allow the float or group to participate in the parade.
Once the parade starts, the parade committee, will provide a "sideline
patrol" that will continue to monitor the parade along the parade route
to make certain that the parade participants are acting safely and that
the parade vehicles and floats and proceeding in a safe manner. (We are
also in the process of contacting the Wells Fire Department to determine
what other steps we can take to further assure the safety of our participants,
as well as asking them to help us with our "sideline patrol").