Organizers of this year’s Pat Taylor Memorial Parade of Lights have a solution for people who love the parade but don’t like hearing loud sirens.
For the first time this year, the blocks between Constant and Mississippi streets will be designated as a quiet zone, said Ada Main Street program director Amy Kaiser. Law enforcement and first responders’ sirens will be turned off as those vehicles enter the quiet zone, but people watching the parade in that area will still be able to hear the music from the bands and floats.
The sirens will be turned back on as those vehicles approach Mississippi Street as a safety measure, which will also let people in the Arts District know the parade is coming.
The quiet zone should make it easier for people who are distressed by loud sirens to enjoy the parade, Kaiser said Thursday.
“I don’t think it’s something that many people have given a lot of thought to, unless you have someone in your life that this negatively affects,” she said. “We have a lot of people with hearing issues of all kinds that I’ve heard say, ‘I love the parade, but I wish the sirens weren’t as loud through the whole thing.’”
Kaiser said the zone offers plenty of space for people who want to park there.
The parade will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Main and Stockton, then travel east. It will end at Centennial Plaza at East Central University.
A couple of parade-related reminders:
• Kaiser said people should not stand in the street while the parade is under way.
“We have some really large floats — not just these emergency vehicles, but you have to understand that we’ve got some flatbed trailers on huge pickups,” she said. “And their visibility is very low when you get right up against those vehicles.
“And so, all we can do is ask the public, ‘Please be vigilant about keeping yourself and your children back away from the parade as it comes through.”
• Tuesday is the deadline to submit entries for the parade. The fee is $35 for entries submitted by the deadline, but the fee goes up to $45 for late entries.
For more information or entry forms, contact Kaiser at 580-436-1600, email her at adamainstreet @cableone.net or reach her via Ada Main Street’s Facebook page. People may also sign up online at www.adamainstreet.com.