In Chester County, Pennsylvania, kids will no longer get the chance to scramble for candy tossed from floats at the annual Halloween parade because suddenly the local tradition is too dangerous.
According to The Daily Local News, Parks & Rec director Keith Kurowski "was fearful that one of about 25 parade floats might injure an unattended child, or a marching band member with a flag or mock rifle might mistakenly strike a youngster."
Yes, those marching bands are vicious. You see a majorette with a flag? Run! There's nothing they like better than to "mistakenly" (wink wink) strike a youngster. Happens all the time. Then the euphonium plays really loud, so you can't hear the screams.
American parade routes are littered with small, candy-clutching collateral damage.
And so, the paper reports:
In the past, participants in the annual Halloween Parade threw candy goodies to children along the route.
This year, the borough will instead set up four distribution stations where candy will be handed out.
"Candy is still going to be distributed on Halloween and for public safety reasons and the safety of our children it will be distributed differently," Mayor Jordan Norley said. "Nonetheless, our children are going to have more sweets than they can eat."
But is it possible the mayor got it exactly backwards? He thinks the goal is excess amounts of candy. But it's likely that the real goal is fun. And scrambling for the stuff is fun.
Kurowski says that children have been getting "overly aggressive getting to the freebies." But from now on, he added:
"They won't have to struggle with other children who are trying to get the same thing," Kurowski said. "We prefer to be proactive rather than reactive."
Kurowski said that typically 1,000 to 1,200 community members directly participate in the parade which is viewed by up to 5,000.
If that is not the definition of a small town holiday parade, I'll eat my bite-size Three Musketeers (and yours). And yet, nothing is safe enough today, not even a wholesome parade with mock rifles. Let them eat candy.