EDITORIAL: Safety, respect necessary for successful Gateway events

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One of Blair's cherished traditions in Gateway to the West Days returns next week.

Blair residents and guests from all over are eagerly awaiting the chance to dance, play and laugh along with the bevvy of activities organizers have carefully planned this year. And of course, at the center of the excitement, is the parade.

Between the time businesses and organizations take building their floats and the time it takes organizers to plan the event, hours and hours are invested into the parade. Additionally, volunteers are asked to stand along the route to make sure paradegoers and float riders act in a safe manner. Some give up hours, some give up days of their own free time to make sure the events of Gateway to the West Days are safe and enjoyable for all.

So, with the amount of time and coordination and the selfless work of volunteers in mind, please remember to be courteous of those working the event and mindful of barriers and routes in place.

The barriers along the parade route exist to make sure everyone involved and watching the parade is safe. The barriers may be inconvenient when traveling around town, but plenty of notice is given ahead of the event. No one's slight detour around the route is worth risking injury to others or accosting a volunteer who is simply doing his or her (unpaid) job.

Run your errands in a timely manner or get to where you need to be early as to not risk getting stuck behind parade traffic. And if you happen to, please be respectful to people who ask you to find another way in the name of safety.

Paradegoers, too, need to be mindful of the surroundings. Don't run into traffic after candy or to get to the other side of the road. Parents, make sure you have an eye on your kids and try to keep them as close to the curb as possible.

Candy throwers, keep candy close to the curb, as well. After all, the rule people are strongly encouraged to follow is to hand candy to eager children instead of throwing it.

These rules, barriers and suggestions are not in place to rain on anyone's fun. They are meant to keep everyone safe and ensure Gateway to the West Days can continue. We don't want to think about the implications if an accident should happen because a barricade was ignored or someone ran too far for a piece of candy.

And as you keep these things in mind, also consider your attitude towards the volunteer workers at all events. One negative interaction can ruin a volunteer's experience and eventually, they may decide it's not worth it. Without volunteers, the event can't happen.

So, please, as you ready for Blair's summer bash, please be respectful, courteous and, above all, safe.

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