It was unfortunate to witness the negative impact of a hand-wringing insurance carrier on the Fourth of July parade in Kings Mills this year.
While organizers suspect the heat as another factor in participation and turnout, the primary culprit appears to have been new restrictions on parade participants.
The brief (and we mean brief) parade was still fun to watch, and the decline in participation should not diminish the commitment of the folks who did show up, including local firefighters and law enforcement.
But folks who go to the parade every year could hardly believe how short the parade was. Along with the drop in numbers, they mourned the loss of some of its unique color and flavor.
The town of Whitefield and the parade organizers point to demands from the town’s insurance carrier as the cause of the new restrictions, but perhaps the town should push back, or find another carrier, or even pay a bit more in premiums to allow the parade to go on as before.
The business about throwing candy, in particular, always makes us shake our head. We cannot recall a single injury at a local parade as a result of throwing candy.
A parade tragedy in Damariscotta in 2011 was the result of much more risky activity. Even so, one tragedy should not bar all such stunts from parades.
If the restrictions must remain in place, we hope more folks in Whitefield fill out the necessary paperwork to participate next year.
But if there’s any chance to eliminate those restrictions and return the event to its freewheeling glory, we hope the town will take advantage of it.