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Parade officials are releasing the rules, regulations, and important information regarding the parade. The primary mission of the Annual Festival of Lights Parade is to provide a safe, enjoyable, and quality family environment, in and on the streets of Douglas. In order to do so, the following rules and regulations are asked to be followed.
All entries (no exceptions) must have an entry form on file at the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce at 114 North Peterson Avenue in order to participate in the parade. Entry fees should be paid to the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce. Fees are as follows: Commercial $25 per entry. Non-commercial $10 per entry. All vehicles/units bearing a business name or message are considered commercial. Parade will begin at 6:00 pm on Saturday, December 2, 2023.
A description, information or history of the entry, in about twenty-five words, must be submitted. This should be included with the entry form at registration. Parade decals will be given out as you arrive on December 2 if you have not already picked yours up. The decal should be visible from the outside right front windshield on parade night. Parade entries will not be allowed to advance in the parade if decal is not displayed. All participants MUST identify themselves so parade viewers, judges, television coverage cameras, and program announcers can easily read the name of the unit or sponsor at a distance of 100 feet. The name of the business or organization MUST be displayed in front of each entry and the theme and other information should be along the side of all entries.
Participants are responsible for obtaining spaces for decorating and building the floats. Floats shall be constructed and decorated so that viewing from either side is equally appealing to the eye. No materials will be available for last minute repairs and additions. TIRES may not rub any part of the frame or float decoration when making turns. When working with floats, please dispose of materials properly to prevent litter. Floats must not exceed 20 feet in width and must not be taller than 15 feet (overall height – traffic clearance). Floats with parts that are more than the 15-foot requirement must be lowered in a quick and efficient manner when approaching overhead traffic lights and other obstructions. Maximum float length is 55 feet. Traffic light clearance is 15.5 feet.
To maintain the overall effect of the nighttime parade, ALL entries must be thoroughly decorated with lights and follow the “Christmas in a Small Town” theme. Entries will not be accepted without lighting. Walkers such as bands, marching units, drill teams, and colorful performing groups are excluded from this rule. Wire and lighting devices must have sufficient capability for the use intended for them on the float. Wiring should be properly secured to the float to avoid mechanical damage and injury to float riders and other participants. Portable generators used in conjunction with float lighting must be securely mounted on a vehicle or other substantial base.
A minimum of 12 inches clearance must separate any part of the generator from light, combustible fabrication or decorating materials. At least one five-pound dry chemical or 10-pound carbon dioxide fire extinguisher should be placed within easy reach of the float driver. There should be at least one fire extinguisher near each generator. For more information, call the Douglas Fire Dept. at 912-384-4815.
All drivers must be licensed and adequately trained to drive their float. The driver should have perfect visibility of the road ahead. Once the float is in position in the line-up area, the driver must be in attendance at all times and available to move the unit as necessary. No children under the age of twelve can ride on a float in the parade without direct supervision of an adult on the float. NO CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF TWELVE ARE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE WITHIN THE PARADE “LINE OF MARCH” WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION.
As a safety precaution, NO CANDY THROWING is allowed during the parade. Walkers may hand out candy to spectators. Parade Workers have the authority to seek the removal of any person or units from the parade, when, in their judgment, parade guidelines are being violated.
During the parade, individuals and organizations are expected to perform courteously, in good taste, and with safety in mind at all times. Parade Workers have the authority to seek the removal of any person or units from the parade, when, in their judgment, parade guidelines are being violated. Parade participants are asked to refrain from signs with profanity or vulgar language. No smoking or alcoholic beverages of any kind will be allowed in or on the float or tow vehicle. The consumption of any alcoholic beverage is strictly prohibited and violators will be prosecuted. No advertisements are allowed for alcohol or tobacco usage. Float builders are encouraged to use costumed characters on floats. However, no Santa Claus will be allowed (Santa is featured in the parade by the event sponsors).
SAFETY IS PRIORITY! ATV, go carts, golf carts, entries MUST be under the supervision of a responsible adult. Out of concern for safety, riders will be pulled from the parade route if the proper safety measures are not considered by the riders. A copy of your insurance cards must be submitted to the Chamber office before Friday at 5pm. HELMETS ARE REQUIRED! No loud music – each float may have their own music and no one parade entry should drown out another.
Horse and rider entries must register to participate in the parade and sign a Hold Harmless form. All horses must be healthy; horses who appear to be sick will be pulled from the lineup. Riders must be able to control the horse in the event it becomes spooked by the crowd, lights, sounds, and other ambiances of the Parade. Owner & rider will be liable for any costs that may be from personal injury or personal property damage of themselves and spectators, business owners, or participants of the parade. Spacing must be maintained between horses. Saddles and bridles are required for all riders. Tack shall be in good condition so that riders can maintain control of their horse. Riders should not move out of line formation for other than emergency conditions. Riders are not to dismount or tie unattended horses along the parade route. Horse riding groups and vehicles being pulled by mules/horses are required to provide, at least one person at the rear of the riding group with a barrel type container to pick up all droppings or for individual riders, horses must have a “manure bag” for sanitation purposes. It is preferred that proof of negative Coggins Test be supplied with horse entries.
If weather conditions are considered extreme and unsafe by the parade coordinators, the parade may be canceled and rescheduled for Sunday afternoon or the following weekend. No refunds will be issued for cancellations by weather or parade organizers.
The parade will begin at the First Methodist Church and continue south on Peterson Avenue. It will disband at South Georgia State College on College Park Drive. Entrants may begin lining up at 4 pm in the west (right-hand) lane of Peterson Avenue in front of the First Methodist Church parking lot at the corner of North Peterson Avenue and Jackson Street. Once you arrive, please keep in mind that traffic will continue to run until roads close at 5 pm. Please do not walk or stand in the roadway. Participants will be placed in line by parade officials. Parade will move at a walking pace at all times.
The parade will end at South Georgia State College. Spectators of the parade should not go past South Georgia State College to see the parade. Entries, including floats, will make a right turn off Peterson Avenue into South Georgia State College onto College Park Drive. College Park Drive will be a one-way street during the parade. Floats and entries with children who need to be picked up, will remain on College Park Drive and stop at the designated drop-off area for children to exit floats and be picked up by parents. Entries that do not have children/riders on a float, will proceed up College Park Drive and exit either by Wheeler or Shirley Avenue. Entries that need to disband prior to exiting the college, should pull up College Park Drive onto the right or left side. Dumpsters will be located on Shirley Avenue and on Wheeler Avenue for disposal of litter.
After the parade, it is the responsibility of the parents, with children participating in the parade, to make necessary arrangements to meet your children and/or pick them up at the designated location at South Georgia State College. Parents of children who will be riding on floats should plan to pick their children up from Quincy Circle’s grass area in front of Peterson Hall. Parents must park their vehicles in any of the Brooks Road parking lots. Brooks Road and Child’s Circle will be one-way streets. After parking their vehicle, parents will have to walk to Quincy Circle (the grass area in front of Peterson Hall) to pick up their child. Once receiving their child and returning to their vehicle, parents will exit on Brooks Road or Child’s Circle by following the road to College Park Drive. Once at College Park Drive, parents will turn left and exit the college either by continuing on Shirley Avenue or by turning left onto Wheeler Avenue.
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