No More Candy at Parade — It’s Too Dangerous

Hi Readers!  Here’s a gem of  Worst-First thinking — dreaming up the WORST case scenario FIRST and proceeding as if it’s about to happen. — L 
Dear Free-Range Kids: I ran across this local article here in Utah last week.  They are starting to ban throwing candy to parade viewers because of the possibility that a child will run into the road and get run over by a float.  In the many years they’ve held parades in Utah, where they have about a parade a week in the summer in different communities (the one in this article is the biggest one in the state, celebrating the state’s founding), this has actually NEVER happened. But still they are banning it because of the possibility of it happening. — J. King
Lenore here: In the link Ms. King sent, one parade official explained, “I don’t want you or I to suffer the heartbreak of a child getting run over.” Hey, I don’t want “you or I”  to suffer the heartbreak of a child dying in an eight-car pileup on the way to the parade either, so let’s just call it off. Can’t be too careful, right?  – L. 
Oh, the danger!

63 Responses to No More Candy at Parade — It’s Too Dangerous

  1. Renee Anne July 6, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    I’ve heard about this and I think it’s silly. First of all, if kids are running into the road to get at candy, the people on the floats aren’t doing their jobs by tossing it far enough. Secondly, if kids are running into the road to get candy, where are the people that are supposed to be watching them in the first place (parents, siblings, etc.)? I understand that “we” don’t want anyone to get hurt but to not toss candy (or spray water out of bottles or anything like that) seems a bit silly.

  2. Diane S. July 6, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    They’ve already done this at the parades in 2 towns here – “it’s too dangerous” also a child “might be hit with a hard candy” …. let’s wrap everyone in bubble wrap!

  3. backroadsem July 6, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    My co-worker attended this very parade and was quite upset by the ban. Makes me ashamed to live in Utah, almost.

  4. Ben July 6, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    Sure, the crestfallen faces of kids who can’t celebrate a parade with candy is a much better solution to an imagined danger than just applying common sense…(sarcasm intended)

  5. Econ Prof July 6, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    This is true in Naperville, IL. Some ignore but then creates issues for those who follow ban. Same idiotic reasoning. Why bother, we could all die at any time! Perhaps kids simply shouldn’t go out of doors, ever.

  6. Jen Connelly July 6, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    Oh for crying out loud. Pretty soon these “safety” conscious people will suck all the fun out of being a kid.

    The idea that a kid might get run over by a float doing 2 miles an hour is hilarious. Not to mention that at parades there are hundreds, if not, thousands of people around (many of them adults) and I would think any adult would grab a kid back that is about to be run over.

    Also TEACH your kids not to run into the street to get the candy until they are sure it’s not to close to the vehicles or wait until the parade is over.

    When we lived in Pennsylvania our town did a parade every Memorial Day. People from all over the area flocked to the street we lived on to watch. The first year we lived there my kids were 3, 4 and almost 6 (and 2 months but she stayed with me, obviously). The kids sat on the curb while I sat on a neighbor’s porch in the shade because it was nearly 90F and there was no shade on the street. They were warned ahead of time to NEVER run into the street. They never did. Kids aren’t as stupid as some people think they are.

    Also streets are pretty wide when you remove parked vehicles. If the people in the floats/cars are throwing the candy so kids have to run in front of a vehicle to get it they are doing something wrong. Running into the street isn’t a danger if they are still 5 feet from the float (depending on the street).

  7. Selby July 6, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Easy solution: everyone bring candy to the parade and throw it amongst themselves. What, are “they” going to stop the entire parade and mass-arrest the crowd?

  8. Molly July 6, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    Jeez, how fast are these floats going?!

  9. padrooga July 6, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    It’s the unspoken, irrational fear of being sued… What… if a diabetic kid pics up and eats a piece of candy and then goes into insulin shock, diabetic coma…
    What if….they choke on a piece of candy?
    What’s the health rating of the float? What if it’s not clean?
    Has there ever been a razor put in a Halloween apple?

  10. Beth July 6, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    Our little town banned throwing of candy too, for the reason a poster stated above. A piece of hard candy might hit a child in the head or the eye. I don’t know if this has ever happened (though I imagine it has), but what damage can a soft-tossed Starlight Mint actually cause?

  11. Sue Morris Carney July 6, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    I’m pretty free range, but I have to disagree here. We have one of those parades, where everyone throws candy out to the kids from the floats. Despite their best efforts, sometimes candy doens’t get flung out far enough, and winds up in the middle of the road. SEVERAL times this year I saw little kids who weren’t being supervised properly dart out to get the candy, right in the path of the vehicles, and the trucks pulling some of these floats were so big there was no way the drivers would be able to see these kids. We were trying to watch other people’s kids because their parents were standing up on the hill drinking with their friends, oblivious. It’s certainly a shame that it has to come to this, but the reality is that some people don’t watch their (little kids) so it becomes everyone elses responsibility. I can see how, if this is commonplace, a parade might decide just to do away with the candy if they can’t get parents to take responsibility for their toddlers.

  12. Janet July 6, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    I’m all for banning candy throwing at parades, but for different reasons. I don’t think you need to bribe kids with candy to watch a parade. The kids should be having fun watching the floats and animals and getting squirted by the fire department. Kids chasing candy aren’t watching the parade; they’re filling up with more cr@p.

  13. Tara July 6, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    We walk parades with our local politicians. In some parades we are allowed to hand the candy to kids. Some of the smaller town parades apparently do not care about the wellbeing of their children and allow the candy to be tossed. :)

  14. JH July 6, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    We went to a local parade (for the first time, as we are new to the area) and they tossed candy to the kids. I have a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 2 year old. The people in the parade for the most part threw the candy toward the children and sidewalk. But, when it was thrown in the street OF COURSE my kids ran into the street to get the candy and OF COURSE I watched them so they wouldn’t get ran over. So did every other parent in the city. It’s insulting that we, as parents, are assumed to be morons and incapable of safely helping our children. 99.9% of us are watching our kids, and if the other .1% isn’t, well, I’ll be happy to help, as a member of the community who cares.

  15. Kristin July 6, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    They already banned candy throwing in most the parades I’ve been to in North Dakota. People have to walk by and hand it to the kids, or throw it from about 3 feet off the curb. Ruins some of the fun of the parade. My son was pretty wild when he was younger, and still never got run over.

  16. maaaty July 6, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    Scoff if you will, but none of you where there at the great Skittles Massacre in ’88, when a purple candy rolled right out of the bag of 8-year-old innocent Tina Richards and right under the ’57 Chevy convertible of twice-sprung felon, Major Jimdaddy Jameson. His secretary and paramour, the Barbie-figured Donna Adams, was driving the vehicle and perfecting her princess wave. Watching her dainty hand swivel, she did notice the purple Skittles rolling beneath the polished hood ornament or see that half of Miss Elmers’ kindergarten class was following in clamorous pursuit. The roar of the engine and the shifting in her seat of her ample rear blocked all notice to her senses that our town was irretrievably lessened that day.

  17. Lollipoplover July 6, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    I think what this parade needs is a Birthday Cake Float that says EAT ME….have some pirates throw contraband candy to those poor kids sweating on the curb.

  18. CrazyCatLady July 6, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Maybe I didn’t go to enough parades as a kid. When did they start throwing candy? As an adult I have seen it when we moved west. But the main parades where I used to live on the East Coast….I don’t remember that.

    Not sure that I am for or against….just unsure when this became the thing to do.

  19. Tonya July 6, 2012 at 5:29 am #

    Meh! They have been doing this for a while. I am fine with it.

  20. dmd July 6, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    Hah! These folks would NEVER make it in New Orleans. If you don’t throw stuff (and lots of it), no one will go to your parade!

  21. Lea July 6, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    That is a crazy excuse. How fast are the parade vehichles going in the first place that they couldn’t stop instantly if a child comes close to being bumped by them? I’ve been in and have seen a lot of parades. Top speed is around five miles and hour with frequent stops for marching bands to perform, clowns to do thing, inflatables to be adjusted and so on. Not a big threat of hitting someone going like that. I’ve watched little ones dart into the parade to touch the floats or hug someone they knew and the vehichle has stopped.

    Most of our parades have stopped throwing candy for a different but equally absurd reason. The parade organizers don’t want anyone to get hit by the candy. Many of the parades either bann any type of candy giving at all (but passing out political and religious fliers still seems ok) or require you to walk the parade crown and hand it out to each person, as in put it in their hands directly. I have never witnessed, heard about or read about someone being hurt by candy thrown from a parade float. Generally the candy being tossed is dum-dums, mini tootsie rolls and single pieces of gum, not two pound candy bars and suckers. They aren’t being thrown by star basebal pitchers either so the force and aim aren’t going to hurt anybody.

    Luckily there isn’t an official bann or law against it so some parades do still have people tossing the candy. Amazingly no swollen lumps, eye being taken out or kids run over ( or even bumped into), in those parades. Lots of fun though.

  22. hineata July 6, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    Gosh, if we had been allowed to actually throw lollies into the crowd, we might not have had the 7 year old bike right up by the wheels of our float and get his handlebars caught in the thing, just trying to get our attention. About the only time I heard my mother screaming at my dad, as she’s hanging off the side of the truck trying to hold the kid up. Fortunately he heard her before kid was mince…..

    Just throwing candy seems quite safe by comparison:-)

  23. Stacy July 6, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Thank goodness yesterday’s parade here in town still included tossed candy, considerate water gun/balloon usage (it gets hot here in Sunland!), and appropriate piloting of helicopters, tractors, fire trucks, cars, motorcycles, and even real live horses (in fact, the local motorcycle club led off with a horse). The traditional end-of-parade vehicle is an old fire house water tanker which drives the entire length of the route spouting water out the back with a pied-piper-esque trailing of kids.

  24. Uly July 6, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Candy? Wimps! In some places, they throw cabbages!

  25. Vanessa July 6, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    I went to plenty of Mardi Gras parades as a child in New Orleans and don’t recall anyone being run over by a float while grabbing for throws – the real danger there was getting your fingers stomped on by one of your fellow parade-goers! Never stopped me, though.

  26. If I Only Had a Brain July 6, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    maaaty was too funny. The Skittles massacre of ’88.

    Has there ever been an accident like this? Probably not. So the siding with caution is baloney.

    My Mom was SMART. She said, “If the candy doesn’t come close enough” and then she made an imaginary line “to at least here, you can’t run out and get it.” END OF STORY

  27. Suzanne July 6, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    I’ve never seen candy thrown from floats during a parade and wonder when this got started too or if it is popular in some areas of the country but not anywhere I’ve ever lived. I think it’s silly to ban it because people are afraid kids will be run over. Genreally kids get run over because they don’t thin hey maybe a car is coming, at a parade there is a whole line of cars. I have a hard time picturing a kid running out into the middle of a line of parade floats – I don’t care how much candy they throw under the cars. Even a 3 year-old isn’t that stupid.

  28. Michelle Hedstrom July 6, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    When I was a kid, I definitely don’t remember candy getting thrown. I don’t care either way honestly, but it’s annoying when they have people on the floats who can’t freakin’ throw and the candy DOES end up in the middle of the streets. It raises other issues as well, but NONE are good enough to stop doing it. You get the bigger kids shoving the little kids out of the way, and there’s always certain kids who hog the candy. But again, that’s a different issue, and is up to the PARENTS of those kids to handle.

    And Suzanne, trust me, the kids ignore the cars to get to the candy. All of them. Yes seriously, all of them are completely oblivious that there’s cars.

  29. Jenny Islander July 6, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    I’ve seen kids run right in front of parade floats to get to candy that wasn’t tossed far enough or skidded on impact. However, a guy going backwards on a unicycle while juggling bowling pins can outpace our parade floats, so they were just fine. Are parades faster elsewhere?

  30. kaceybollrud July 6, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    I’m from mardi gras country and have only ever heard of one injury at a parade. Every parade I’ve been to has barriers the entire length of the route, though. The real danger at a Mardi gras parade is getting hit in the face with beads. We will never stop throwing candy, moon pies and beads in this part of the country, so come on down for some southern hospitality.

  31. Linda Wightman July 6, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    It happens, and it’s tragic. Watching a Fasnacht (Carnival) parade in Switzerland, I heard the story of a toddler who was killed the year before, having run into the street to pick up some treat. I can’t imagine that stopping the Swiss, however — they still take personal responsibility seriously.

    But personally I hate the thrown candy. It’s cheap, it gets dirty, and the kids certainly don’t need it.

  32. Michelle July 6, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    We must live in a rather free-range town. Our 4th of July parade still has candy being tossed although my 14 year olds will be quick to tell you that there’s a whole lot less being tossed now than when they were little and I think I’d agree. Must be the economy. This year there was more concern about the veterans passing out from heat stroke than a toddler being run over while chasing a candy.

  33. Milo Moon July 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Actually I have a different take on the whole matter. I have help run several of the Gay Pride Parades here in Houston. Which by the way have lots of families, with young kids, in attendance. It costs more to hold a parade where you toss items. You have to insure against anyone running out onto the parade route and being struck by a float. You have to have a rider on your policy to protect against someone suing because they were injured (being pushed, falling, and or struck by fast projectiles) while trying to obtain said object. Then you have to pay extra money to have the items that are not taken home cleaned up the next day by the sanitation department. So it might have been a purely budgetary item to eliminate candy, and they blamed it on “we don’t want the kids to get squished”. The Houston Pride Parade instructs (yes each entry in the parade has to attend class) on how to toss items into the crowd. Each float that tosses items has to have walkers on each side to watch for people going in front of the floats. This is on a parade route with metal barricades on each side of the road to prevent people from entering the route, and it still happens. Is it a sad excuse, yes. However it shows the window into the world we live in today where everyone is sue happy and has no common sense. So it might have been because the organization that ran the parade could not budget the insurance policy to protect itself, so they had to ban thrown items.

  34. Jenna July 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Whether or not they should throw candy is irrelevant. I could care less either way. My kids enjoy the parade whether or not there’s candy. The point is that they are banning it on the premise that something COULD happen. I agree with Lenore on her comment about the possibility of something happening while driving to the parade. That’s far more likely than a child getting hit by a float.

  35. BMS July 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    First of all, some folks seem awfully hard on candy. I mean, ok, it’s not health food. But unless they are eating it 24/7 it’s not going to kill them. A couple of lollipops on a summer day isn’t going to ruin them for life. I get pretty tired of some of the uber-organic moms in my town who look at you as if you are giving kids rat poison if you hand them a tootsie roll for a treat.

    Second of all, our town parade also has a rule that if you are throwing candy, you have to be on foot, not throwing it off the float, just to make sure it gets to the edge of the street, so no one will be running out into the middle. I march with the scouts every year. Fully half the kids won’t even get on the float because that means they won’t get to toss candy to the other kids, and that’s the best part. And for some reason this year, some adults were tossing extra candy from the sides onto the float – to the great delight of our ever hungry pack of wolves, bears, and tigers.

    And this year, someone threw candy, and it missed, and hit me in the head. So I did what any responsible adult would do – picked it up, pulled rank, and ate it. Starbursts… yum…

  36. Beth July 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    @BMS, didn’t it hurt, really really bad? Isn’t that that the kind of hurt you never ever want your kids to experience? >sarcasm off<

  37. Lollipoplover July 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    On the premise that something COULD happen, I can just see it now: “Toddler Parade Safety Goggles” in the next pages of One Step Ahead catalog.
    Why can’t we just teach the kids to stay behind the police barrack and not run in the street during the parade?

  38. BMS July 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    More pain! Pain is good! :-)

    Actually, my husband and I had one of those liberating free range moments after the parade. My kids love marching in the parade, but hate watching it. The scouts were near the front of the parade this year, so there was still a lot to watch, and hubby and I wanted to watch it. The kids started whining, so we pulled out the keys and said, “If you don’t want to stay, walk home, let yourself in, hang up your uniforms. Adios.” The kids were more than happy to take the 15 minute walk back home on their own, and we were free to enjoy the rest of the parade, after exchanging high fives at the joy of being free from WhinyBoy and his brother Imsohot. When we made our way home an hour later, they were changed, uniforms hung, and a lego roller coaster was in the middle of being constructed. Happiness all around.

  39. Nicole July 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    I actually have an instance where one of these bans CAUSED an injury! (Does that mean we ban the bans?) Our sage parade organizers a couple of years ago said you couldn’t “throw” candy, but “adults could hand it to kids”. So my kid was stuck on the float, while my husband got a nasty gash on his leg climbing on and off the thing trying to get more candy to “safely” hand out.

  40. Ann July 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Most of the parades around here have banned candy throwing as well. Maybe we should eliminate all basketballs and soccerballs as well. You know when those roll down the driveway and out into the street, kids can get run over that way too (and that’s probably a heck of a lot more likely to happen than getting run over by a slow-moving parade vehicle).

  41. pentamom July 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Molly — that was my thought exactly. A kid can run into a spot where he’s in the path of a 5-mile-per-hour-at-most-float, and no one can grab him before he gets hit?

  42. pentamom July 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    “I’m all for banning candy throwing at parades, but for different reasons. I don’t think you need to bribe kids with candy to watch a parade. The kids should be having fun watching the floats and animals and getting squirted by the fire department. Kids chasing candy aren’t watching the parade; they’re filling up with more cr@p.”

    Solution: don’t let your kids eat any, but don’t wreck it for everyone else just because you’re a candyphobe.

    Who says they “need to be bribed with candy to watch a parade?” Maybe the parade units just throw candy because, you know, it’s fun and a nice thing to do?

  43. Rachel July 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    pentamom – it does seem like a fun and nice thing to do. should we ban playing balls on the front lawn, too, in case one rolls into the street and a kid runs after it? obviously we don’t want that to happen…but this crazy overprotection stuff is really misguided. i am starting to think that until corporations stop controlling the media (what is it now, 6 corporations own 90% of mass media?) we will never hear enough reporting on real dangers facing our kids (i.e. car accidents, childhood obesity, depression, anxiety). instead we’ll continue to be diverted by this side show like banned candy and teachers who aren’t allowed to apply sunscreen.

  44. renee miller July 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    I’m sorry, and please understand that I routinely post your blog on my FB page and agree with most of what you say, but I actually do support this rule. I have ridden on the firetrucks in 4th of July parades for YEARS and I am simply amazed that no child (or adult) has been run over by trying to grab candy or tiny toys being thrown from the floats or firetrucks. I have personally witnessed the floats and trucks slam on their breaks for kids running in front to grab something at least once at every parade. I have seen ADULTS push kids into the path of the trucks – either to ‘encourage’ them to grab something or to get them out of the way so the adults can get to whatever the treasure is on the ground. Individual people are very smart and generally safety conscience, but a crowd (also called a mop) is a very stupid animal indeed.

  45. renee miller July 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    OK, I just read the other replies, which I should have done first. The floats and firetrucks don’t drive that fast but they are HEAVY and simple physics will tell you that stopping a mass that heavy from moving forward is not going to happen immediately. Also, the driver may be elevated and can’t see the very front of the truck. Finally, MOST parents watch their kids, but of course any playground parent will tell you that there is always a group of parents that think 1) their kids is fine and is not paying attention or 2) so happy to be drinking and talking to their friends that they don’t even look for their kids because there are other parents looking out. Of course I would never willingly allow someone else’s child to get hit by a slow moving truck, but if I am busy watching my own kids it is possible.

  46. Amber July 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Okay, I agree that the ban is stupid. But the claim that it’s never happened in Utah is wrong. I was at the parade where a kid got ran over by a float while running after candy, even though it was almost 20 years ago. So they changed the rule in our town way back then to you can’t throw candy anymore, you have to just walk along and hand it out. I also watched as a kid fell to pick up a water bottle and got run over by the float he was walking next to. Horrid? Yes. Worth banning candy or water bottles? Of course not.

  47. Emily July 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Instead of throwing candy from the floats, why not do what we do here? Our annual Santa Claus Parade always finishes with a party at City Hall, with hot dogs, chips, cake, hot chocolate, candy canes, and of course, a local resident doing the Santa Claus thing for the kids. In other words, don’t eliminate the candy, just change the format of the event so that kids can still have candy, but without the risk of being run over.

  48. EricS July 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    This, like many others, is the common case of someone (cuz it always starts with ONE person to get the ball rolling) with a “holier than thou” attitude. Coupled with a fearful mentality, you get a bad mix of crazy laws and policies being implemented. I guess thousands of years of human evolution, growth, and experience are no match for ignorance.

  49. BMS July 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    @Emily What? Your town exposes kids to unhealthy food and a stranger dressed as Santa Claus who might potentially get off on having kids on his lap? Hot dogs? Processed sugar with red dyes? Why doesn’t your town just relocate to Love Canal already if you all hate your kids so much? I’m calling CPS to come with several greyhound buses to rescue all the kids in your town from the horrible, irresponsible parents!

    That actually sounds like a ton of fun. Winter parades here in the Northeast are usually not a whole lot of fun, due to the whole snow thing, but it does sound like a great tradition!

  50. BMS July 6, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    For some reason, my “sarcasm on” and “sarcasm off” notations didn’t show up in the last post. Please put the first before What? and the second after parents!

  51. pentamom July 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Renee — it’s not that people expect the trucks to stop, or that everyone expects every parent to be watching their own kids, it’s that the chances of a kid running in front of something moving that slowly without ANYONE noticing in time to pull the kid out of the way, aren’t that great.

    Yes, it could happen. Accidents happen. We don’t ban kids from the public streets under normal conditions or, as someone else said, ban them from playing with balls in their yards where they *could* run out in the street to chase it. The question is whether the risk is great enough to justify banning something, in light of how many people are watching, how fast the floats are actually moving, and so forth. You could ban anything on the “could happen because kids are excited and not paying attention and could get hurt” principle, but that’s exactly where the problem is.

  52. Heila July 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    I read the following quote in an article on hand sanitisers ( and I thought it was quite apt: “We live in a world where we have much fewer risks and so we start to worry about smaller risks”.

    And on a somewhat related note Lenore, you are quoted in an article on a South African parenting site:

  53. pentamom July 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Let me amend that:

    it’s that the chances of a kid running in front of something moving that slowly without ANYONE noticing in time to pull the kid out of the way AT AN EVENT WHERE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE THERE SPECIFICALLY TO WATCH THE PASSING ATTRACTIONS, aren’t that great.

  54. Havva July 7, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    I have lots of fond parade memories of chasing candy (yes out in the street) as a kid. Seemed like most of the candy ended up in the street. Of course most of the length of the rout the street was two lanes in each direction plus a center left turn lane.

    These runs into the street were a great lesson in situational awareness. There was some, heavily controlled, danger of course … and I know that a few times I was scooped up by my mom who was fearfully pointing at some large object I had completely failed to notice. It was embarrassing, and an undeniable lesson in my perceptual shortcomings. The next time candy was throw I wasn’t allowed to go get candy because I hadn’t watched out for myself. Mom would hold me and show me how the older kids looked around for horses, twirlers, street vendors etc. She would show me how parents and police were sweeping kids out of the street well ahead of the next entry to ensure no one got hurt. She showed me the float minders and explained that the driver only had a 12×2 inch viewing slot, and couldn’t see much. And explained that if I got behind the float minders, there would be no way to warn the driver. Then when the candy throwers after that arrived, she would allow me back in the street, though not a far as before.

    The chase itself, judging if you could run out and back fast enough to avoid interfering with or frightening the next entry coming down the street, became so much a part of the fun, that I continued for a bit after the low quality candy had lost its appeal. Just grabbing one or two candies from the dead middle of the street and handing it off to some little kid who wasn’t fast enough, while ushering said kid out of the safest lane and back to his/her parents on the curb.

  55. Lori W. July 7, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    I’m from Louisiana where a parade just isn’t a parade if there aren’t “throws.” During Mardi Gras it’s beads, cups, toys, doubloons and during Christmas it’s candy. At some of the parades the crowd is pressed nearly up against the tall floats. And yet it’s really rare to hear of any injuries. (Most of our injuries are caused by drunk float riders falling off the float.) Yes, occasionally a parade-goer gets injured by a float but for the most part our kids are familiar with the rules which include “you don’t run out in the street between floats.” Our youngest kids here sit on small homemade benches affixed to the top of a ladder – a “parade” ladder. Nearly every home in New Orleans has one.

  56. Donna July 7, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    The point isn’t about whether candy is needed for a parade to be fun. Or whether there are different ways to make the parade fun. Or whether there are different ways to get kids candy during a parade. Or the validity of eating candy at all.

    The point is that this town chose to celebrate it’s 4th (or whatever) in THIS way – having a parade in which candy is thrown from floats – for a number of years. And they are stopping based on an a fear of something that has never actually come to pass in all the years they’ve had a candy-throwing parade. And while I will not say that kids have never been hit by vehicles diving after candy in a parade, it is an incredibly rare thing. My town has been throwing candy during the Christmas parade since I was a kid and nary a candy-related injury. Without some definitive evidence that my town is full of parade drivers with savant-like ability to avoid hitting children diving for candy, I think I can safely assume that our injury-free, candy-throwing Christmas parade is experienced throughout the globe on a fairly regular basis and that kids getting hit by the floats are the rare anomaly, not vice versa. So why interfere regardless of what you think about candy (don’t eat it if you don’t want it) or other ways you can think of to have fun? THIS way is simply not dangerous.

  57. Sarah July 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    This is a case where I think parents simply need to take responsibility for their own children.

    My four-year-old son has never shown any interest in grabbing candy at the 4th of July Parade, so I never made it an issue. This year, however, he suddenly wanted to do it. I had to keep an eye on his two-year-old brother, too, and we were seated uphill and not directly by the street, so I told him no. “Next year,” I said, “we’ll work out a plan ahead of time. We’ll talk about some rules and I’ll make sure I have someone with us who can help with your brother while I go with you to get candy.” (He was adamant that I go with him.) He accepted that with no argument.

    Really, I just wanted to make sure that he understood where he shouldn’t go (right in front of a moving vehicle). If I hurriedly tried to tell him as we were going down to the street, I don’t know that it would have stuck. Plus, trying to keep track of a two-year-old at the same time would have been chaotic to say the least.

    Putting a ban in place that ruins the fun for everyone is not fair and assumes that parents aren’t actually responsible for their kids. If someone is letting their small toddler wander in front of moving vehicles, yes, that is poor judgment, but it doesn’t mean that all parents can’t manage their children.

  58. Sky July 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    They banned this LAST year at our 4th of July parade, much to the dissapointment of my kids. However, paraders did and do walk up to the kids in the front two rows and simply HAND them flags and candy, etc., making the front row seats the coveted ones this year.

  59. Sally Hayes July 8, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    parades suck.

  60. Ranch Mommy July 8, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    They banned candy from our local parades several years ago. At least they had a semi-valid reason… children running out could spook the horses (there are a LOT of horses in our parades). Although I remember going as a child, everyone knew that you had to wait until between floats to grab the candy that didn’t make it all the way over.

  61. Heen July 8, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    If a child is stupid enough to run out in front of a float, they deserve to be run over. Yay for natural selection.

  62. Maegan July 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    A 9 year old was killed in a Christmas parade in Florida in 2007. And then a 5 year old was injured (but survived) in 2011. I mean when you mix cars & kids you could potentially have an issue. Is it really that far fetched to imagine a large vehicle (with poor visibility) might do harm? I think in Florida they now “hand” the candy to the crowd. That’s only 2 instances…and I am one of those people that feels like you don’t change the rules for *everyone* b/c *one* (or two) people messed up.

    I took my kids to a Fasching parade in Germany in February…and as long as I watched them they were good about not leaving the sidewalk to get candy that had fallen in to the street…but several children were running around trying to get the pieces in the street…and more than once my kids were pushed out of the way & knocked off the curb by these other kids. I think the issue is more that the kids aren’t being polite. It’s *just* candy. If my girls had missed every piece…I would have just taken them to the store afterward & bought them some. And this was a parade where the adults were drinking. The participants as well as the crowd. The adults never worried me. The other kids did. They were very young assholes.

  63. Rob September 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    If they were to ban candy throwing at the parades in my area, we wouldn’t be able to get our kids to go. Well, we can force them, but what fun is standing out in the blistering heat (yes, even at Christmas, this is TX) with whiney kids? I don’t remember candy being thrown at parades when I was a kid, but the parades I went to all had cool or interesting floats to look at. All of the parades in my area now (which is not the area I grew up in), are nothing more than local businesses lining up in cars or trucks with their logos on them, driving down the street and throwing candy. Rare is the organization that puts in more effort than just a few menial decorations on the vehicle, or maybe putting some music on. The local high schools usually have the band marching and playing some music, but 5 minutes of marching music during an hour-long parade isn’t enough to keep things interesting. If there is no candy to collect, there is literally NO reason to even go and waste the time watching the parade.