Downtown Billings Alliance maintains 'no handing out candy' rule - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Downtown Billings Alliance maintains 'no handing out candy' rule

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Candy will not be handed out during next month's Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Billings. The Downtown Billings Alliance said their decision is based on safety and littering concerns.

It's not the city that picks up the trash after the parade, it's actually a local organization that uses volunteer workers.

"We get a lot of volunteers that help us during our events and I can't thank them enough, but really, we don't get a lot of volunteers for clean up," Natasha Potratz said. "Surprise, surprise."

The Downtown Billings Alliance has regulated parades and makes sure no candy is thrown. This helps minimize the amount of trash that has to be picked up. The rule is also set in place for safety reasons.

"Our primary concern is also for their kids," Potratz said. "All it takes is one of those kids going into the street and one of the parade vehicles preceding and something happening in an accident and a child gets hurt. I'm saying to those parents, I don't want that to be your child."

Patrick  Parker is a concerned citizen. He said this regulation should be lifted.

"If we lose the family-friendly aspect of the parade, the kid-oriented aspect, that's a slippery-slope and I think we'll lose the parade eventually," Parker said.

Officer Matt Frank is the Downtown Resource Officer. He's been policing these events for over a year. He said this rule needs to stay in place.

"With all the children that are trying to go out and get the candy, stuffed animals for example, it causes a big leg between the different floats, causing people to walk in between the parade as it's actually moving so it's definitely at an increasing trend of safety."

Potratz said although she understands the concern, the rule will stay in effect. She said if children want candy, they should attend the Celtic Fair that occurs after the parade.

The DBA is looking for volunteers for the parade. If you're interested, you can call them at (406)294-5060.

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