Letter: Stop throwing candy at the July Fourth parade
I am writing this letter to the editor in regard to the candy throwing at the annual Aspen Fourth of July parade. Two years ago, both my spouse and I were hit multiple times at the parade with a barrage of candy, including tootsie pops with sticks attached, both of which were lobbed from an Aspen Fire truck. One of the sticks from the tootsie pop lodged in my spouse’s leg and another hit him just below his eye (had it not hit his sunglasses first, the damage could have been severe). I am happy to say that neither required medical care. Since this was not the first year we had been attacked with candy and suffered the stings and watched as children ran in front of vehicles to retrieve said candy, my spouse took it upon himself to go to the Fire Department with a sample of the tootsie pops with sticks and point out how dangerous any type of candy could be when it was hurled from atop an emergency vehicle or float, not to mention the children running from the curbs to retrieve said candy. Yes, there are barricades on the streets to prevent children from running to retrieve the candy but they are barely sufficient as the children just wriggle through the openings or go around them, all while their parents are looking on.
I am happy to report that this year the emergency vehicles we observed while at the parade were not throwing candy, however other entries were. This candy-throwing is strictly prohibited in all the publications advertisements for the parade, yet when it did happen and we asked an officer on duty to please stop it, she did ask a few floats to stop and then moved on down the street so as not to be bothered by us any longer and the candy throwing continued and we never saw her return to our area near the Hotel Jerome observation deck. There were a few entries that handed out candy and other prizes along the parade route and that seems a very reasonable way to do it. Why have a policy if it is not going to be enforced? What will it take to stop this very dangerous activity? Perhaps a child losing an eye will do it?
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