Santa Cruz DIY Parade Stirs Up Safety Concerns
Updated On: Jan 02 2014 11:19:45 AM CST
Keep Santa Cruz weird -- that's the message from New Year's Eve revelers who want to have their own fun without having to follow the rules. We found out why police said it's an irresponsible way to celebrate.
There's a group of people who gather downtown for a make shift parade every year and the police department is asking the public not to participate because it's not done properly. The City of Santa Cruz set up it's own New Year’s Eve event at Water Street and Pacific Avenue. Officers asked people to attend the city’s celebration instead.
The make shift parade is everything you'd expect when you think of Santa Cruz -- the music, the lights and free spirits roaming the streets.
"I mean, I came down from two hours just to be here 'cause it sounded like something so unusual, something so fun and something that I could never find anywhere except in Santa Cruz," said parade participant Jill Lublin.
While it may a unique way to ring in 2014, police said it's more of a nuisance to downtown businesses.
"We really think it's wildly irresponsible to invite the community out to something like this and then not take all of the safety precautions necessary," said Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark.
Officers said it’s confusing for drivers when they see bikes and flags coming down the street and no one's managing traffic. Police said the people who coordinate the parade, fail to get the necessary permits every year.
"We've even offered to waive the permit fees and things of that nature. It's kind of a grassroots ideology of this is kind of their way to stick it back to the man if you will," Clark said.
If these folks walk through the street for too long, officers will ask them to move over to the sidewalk and if they don't cooperate they can be ticketed. But parade goers said they keep it under control, while doing it their own way.
"We don't need a permit, we're gonna have a parade. We don't need to pay money to have like security or rentals at this thing. It's like we're gonna do something ourselves and we're gonna have fun doing it," said parade participant Brian Coltrin.
The city sponsored New Year's Eve event kicks off at about 11:30pm and at midnight there's a laser show with a DJ and fireworks.
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