The American Falls Day parade, with the theme “100 Years of Dam Fun”, will take a different route for 2013, due to construction on Harrison Street and other downtown thoroughfares.
The Greater American Falls Area Chamber of Commerce worked closely with the American Falls Police Department to create the temporary route.
The temporary route will use the regular staging point on the 100 block of Harrison Street near Bingham Coop then make an immediate left turn onto Fort Hall Avenue. The parade will continue on Fort Hall until Lee Street. The parade will travel the length of Lee Street ending at the intersection of Lee Street and Hillcrest Avenue.
Chamber board member Jennifer Rupp said the new route is a good fit with the Lee Street Park location of American Falls Day.
“I like it. It is a straight line with one turn followed by a straight line. It is very easy to understand,” said Rupp.
American Falls Police Chief Brandon Wilkinson said the Fort Hall to Lee Street route has many advantages.
“Fort Hall is wide so it can accommodate the larger floats or tractors. The intersections are easy for our personnel to monitor and control. People are accustomed to lining up on Harrison Street, and it is a simple route which I think will be beneficial because this is a temporary route so participants don’t have to memorize a complex path,” said Wilkinson.
While Wilkinson likes the use of the traditional starting point Rupp is a fan of the ending point.
“It is great the parade will end right where the majority of the day’s activities will be taking place,” Rupp said.
The chamber is asking parade watchers to avoid lining up along Fort Hall between Harrison and Van Buren Streets.
“I am concerned that making the immediate left turn onto Fort Hall will be tough to negotiate. If we can encourage people to watch the parade from farther down Fort Hall so there are not people running in and out of the street it would be better,” said Shane Bolgen, chamber board chairman.
The chamber is encouraging parade participants to make the first block of the parade between Harrison Street and Van Buren Street a candy-free zone.
Wilkinson said another feature of the temporary parade route is the length.
“I drove the route after it was proposed. It is only three tenths of a mile shorter than the traditional route,” Wilkinson told the chamber board of directors on Thursday, July 11.
The chamber will keep the tradition of not requiring parade participants to pre-register.
“Anyone that wants to be a part of the parade just needs to line up in front of Bingham Coop. The parade order will be American Legion followed by the grand marshals, and then it is first-come-first-served,” said Bolgen.
American Falls Day parade line up begins at 9 a.m. with a start time for the parade of 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug 3.
For more information about American Falls Day visit the chamber’s website at www.amfallschamber.com.