The Fourth of July just won't be the same anymore in Sandy.
For years the city's parade has featured floats with riders raining candy on onlookers. But the tradition is a thing of the past now after the City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday banning candy-throwing from floats."It's a safety concern," said council office manager Phil Glenn. "There have been incidents in other cities where little kids run out to pick up candy and get killed by a float."
No such occurrences have happened in Sandy, whose annual Independence Day parade features as many as 140 entries. The parade usually starts late in the afternoon and winds for more than a mile through the suburban city, from 9400 South and 800 East along State Street to the South Towne Mall, where it culminates in a fireworks show.
Liability worries as much as public safety apparently are behind the ban.
"It galls me not to be able to let people just have fun and do what they want to do," said Mayor Larry Smith. "And I hate the world getting that technical and legal-oriented, but we're there."
Smith said he has witnessed several close calls in which youngsters scampered into the path of floats, escaping at the last moment with a candy prize.
The concerns are similar to those caused by sled-riding and snow-tubing in city parks, Smith said. The city prohibits such activities but has a hard time enforcing them, the mayor said.
"We fence them off and put bales of hay around trees, but they show up anyway," he said, noting that in recent years one Sandy child died in a city park sledding incident and another was seriously injured.
The city's insurance carrier insisted on that ordinance, he said but did not require the candy-throwing ban.
"They haven't gotten on to us on that one yet," Smith said.