Parade barricades keep us safe

Published 12:32 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reading about two horses that became spooked during a Fourth of July parade in Iowa made us think just how lucky Natchez is.

We could not help but think, “There but by the grace of God — and a wise former police chief — goes Natchez.”

The annual Independence Day Parade in the small town on Bellevue, Iowa, was horribly interrupted Sunday morning when two horses became spooked and headed into a crowd of people.

One person, a passenger in the buggy the horses were pulling, was killed and nearly two-dozen others were injured during the accident.

Such accidents can quickly turn a fun day at the parade to tragedy.

Mardi Gras parade revelers in some communities often get too close to passing parade floats and crushed toes — or worse — are the result.

Natchez has, fortunately, not had to learn that lesson in recent years.

That’s due in no small part to the Natchez Police Department’s use of barricades to keep parade spectators safely out of the parade route.

Years ago when Natchez first purchased the barricades at the request of then Police Chief Willie Huff, some residents laughed at the notion that the barricades were needed.

Of course there’s no way to know if barricades would have made a difference in Iowa.

However, the recent history of safety at Natchez parades shows the barricades may, in fact, have made thousands of parade goers safer.