This notice is from both the Heart of Ohio USA Days Festival and the Oldtime Farming Festival committees regarding new rules for each of their parades! We ask and need the public’s cooperation so please read the following information carefully. This includes parade participants and also spectators!
The USA Days parade requires any units wanting to be judged (for ribbons and cash prizes) MUST be on site by 8:30 am and no later than 9:15 am! Anyone arriving after 9:15 will not be judged!
This year we have to take major steps to ensure safety for both parade participants and those watching the parade. If we do not make these changes the parade route would be changed and shortened. None of us want that to happen! When this information first hit social media the overwhelming response was that the public does not want the route changed! Therefore, please read and heed the new regulations so that we can continue this century old tradition!
First of all, if you are going to be a participant, you will NOT be allowed to throw candy from your vehicle. However, if you provide walkers on each side they can drop candy into the laps of the children curbside. The walkers should stay next to the curb. They may pull a wagon or cart with their extra candy, etc. If the walkers slow down you cannot stop the vehicle to wait for them, vehicles must continue to move in order to decrease the large lapses in the parade. All parade vehicles are expected to stay within twenty feet of each other.
Parade participants must also sign a form stating they will abide by these rules and not throw candy from vehicles, and also to verify that they have valid insurance. In the Farm Festival parade only, the many tractors who take part must also have a tow chain with them in case of a breakdown to get them out of the parade route as quickly as possible.
Any children, walking or on bikes, scooters, etc. must be accompanied by an adult. If they lag or grow tired the adult must boost them along or remove them from the parade if they cannot continue. We will strive to have walkers in the front end of the parade.
Only selected vehicles/units may enter the park at the end of the parade. They will be given a tag or a colored tape to place on the vehicle. An official will be at the park gate to enforce this. Those allowed to enter include the CHS marching band, Grand Marshal float, Little Miss Liberty/Little Uncle Sammy cart, and in the farming festival, the tractors which will be going on display and the calliope. Others may be designated as decided by the committees. All other traffic may exit the parade route by continuing on state route 3 toward Mt. Vernon or they can also turn and continue on state route 314. By using Updike Road into Rich Hill and turning left they can continue onto Dill Road to 3 and if needed return to the staging area or make their way home.
Also, both parades will have every side street blocked to traffic. No vehicle should try to go around or move a barricade to enter the parade route! There will be vest-identifiable officials at each and every side street to police each one so that this does not occur! Anyone attempting to violate this rule will be subject to charges by law enforcement! This is an extremely important safety issue and must and will be strictly enforced! Also, we need volunteers to help man each of these intersections. Please contact us if you would volunteer to man an intersection while you watch the parade! You can also sign up on the Heart of Ohio USA Days Facebook page.
Those who enjoy watching the parade whether uptown or on lawns should police their area and pick up any trash they may have. Please do not leave it for homeowners or festival staff to clean up! We appreciate your cooperation in this so that the parade is safe and enjoyable for all!