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Tyler County Booster - Local News

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‘Close calls’ during parade bring up candy-throwing issue

Tyler County Booster

by Kelli Barnes Woodville police reported a few “close calls” on Saturday when children ran into the streets to collect candy during the annual Dogwood parade. “City employees put orange safety nets in front of the sidewalks at the most congested areas along Hwy. 190 in downtown Woodville but small children cannot see the parade good through the netting so they move to areas along the parade route where they can see,” said Woodville police captain Mike McCulley. The Dogwood committee has considered the possibility of not allowing candy to be thrown from the parade entries, but to date have not changed the tradition. “We did prohibit candy throwing from floats where there was no adult super-vision, and we are not opposed to looking into an alternative plan to protect the public and still provide the memorable “free candy” experience the Dogwood parade provides,” said Mandy Risinger, publicity Director for Dogwood and city manager of Woodville. Visitors and community members have noticed the “eye sore” orange barriers present along the parade route where the city, merchants and parade entrants have worked so hard to make the parade event something beautiful to participate in. “I think it would be a great idea to create a ‘fee’ for parade entries of bags of candy for the Dogwood committee,” said Kelli Barnes, general manager of the Booster. Police chief Scott Yosko suggested the possibility of one of Tyler County’s civic organizations volunteering to walk each side of the parade route during the parade “tossing” candy to the children while they enjoy watching the parade without leaving the sidewalk. “This would solve a major safety issue without keeping the children from receiving free candy during the parade,” Yosko said. Dogwood committee Executive Director Kim Shaw agrees with the need for safety and would be interested in hearing from an organization in Tyler County willing to take on the candy throwing responsibility at the parade. Her number is 283-8346. “Thankfully, we have off duty police officers and the Sheriff’s Posse who currently help us with security during the parade,” said Yosko. “In order for Texas Department of Transportation to continue allowing us to close Hwy. 190 and US 69 each year, it takes several officers and signs the City provides to reroute traffic safely and efficiently during two hours the first Saturday of April each year.” Complaints to TxDot could cause the parade route to change in the future, but city Police work hard to keep this privilege for the Dogwood parade. According to Chief Yosko, this year’s parade started about 15 minutes late because a car would not start. “Mr. East Texas Jim McReynolds had a little car trouble but the problem was solved quickly the parade was able to move,” said Yosko. Because of this, the parade did not make it to the downtown area until about 2:30 this year.

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