A few years ago, Gary and I went to an event that included a large parade. The parade was to go straight down the main street and then turn right onto the street that led to the park and the final destination. However, someone had forgotten to put “No Parking” signs at the corner of the street. In the morning several car had parked there. By the time the parade came it was too late to find the owners and asked them to move their vehicle. As a result the larger floats couldn’t make the turn and were told to continue straight. Needless to say, this caused mass confusion. The whole parade became disrupted; parade participant didn’t know where to go, parade watchers didn’t know where to stand and the police had difficulties controlling crowd and traffic! This was a situation that could have been avoided if the committee had paid attention to the “little things”.
Creating a simple but thorough checklist will go a long way towards having minimum problems come parade day. Here are a few ideas to consider adding to the list:
Prepare a parking strategy with map that shows existing parking availability, no parking areas and potential off-site parking areas
Determine if off-site parking required
Determine if a shuttle service is needed and what the costs would be, plus if it could be paid for by a sponsor
Determine how many “No Parking” signs are required and where they would be placed (make the signs large enough to be seen clearly)
Determine how many “Directional Signs” are needed are where they would be placed (consider placing signs at all town entry points)
Develop a strategy to work with local residents and businesses
Develop a “parking patrol” strategy
Work with town officials and local police to make sure “No Parking” areas are strictly enforced
Plan for a number of handicapped parking spots
Plan for convenient drop off areas
Plan for parking attendants at off-site parking areas
Make sure your local media advertises all road closures, parking areas and parade route. These should also be included in any festival materials produced.