LAUREL – Organizers of Laurel’s July 4 Grand Parade announced Wednesday they are banning candy and handouts thrown by participants.
According to Marcia Hafner, executive secretary of the Laurel Chamber of Commerce, insurance has been increasingly harder to obtain for the parade because of the liability associated with candy-throwing.
In years past, walkers have tossed candy to kids standing in the road, not the curb, which has pushed the parade further out into the streets and slowed the parade, Hafner stated. The candy and other items also create significant amounts of litter, she said.
She added that parades around the country are trending away from candy throwing for similar reasons.
The chamber has traditionally hosted the parade and can’t do so without insurance, Hafner said.
Safety is the top priority for the parade, she said. It kicks off a daylong celebration in Laurel that includes food vendors and events at Thomson Park and the area’s largest fireworks display, put on by the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department.