Spot-savers halted for PTC parade, fireworks

One July 4 tradition in Peachtree City will have to be put off until the last minute: the placement of tarps and blankets to “save a spot” for viewing the parade and fireworks.

The City Council passed a new ordinance Thursday night that will forbid the placement of tarps, blankets and the like along city property and city right of way until dawn that morning.

Anyone who dares to deploy a spot-saving device a day or more in advance risks it being confiscated by the city where it could perhaps be sold or trashed at a later date.

Council had received some pushback from residents complaining about the policy, and Councilwoman Kim Learnard said council “had to do something” about the issue, but also could be adjusted after this year.

Mayor Don Haddix agreed that the ordinance could be changed in the future, noting that some who contacted council didn’t want to see any blankets down at all to those who want to be able to place theirs any time.

The new rule is a response to to the proliferation of tarps and blankets used along the parade route and also around Lake Peachtree and other areas for viewing of the annual fireworks bonanza. Because the tarps and blankets appeared several days in advance of the actual holiday last year, city officials saw the need to prevent such an occurrence this year.

The ordinance maintains a ban on the use of items such as tents, stakes and barricades to save July 4 viewing spots, cited as potential hazards to motorists’ views and/or a tripping hazard for pedestrians.

City staff has suggested the need to prepare for additional storage receptacles and/or dumpsters to store or throw away items that are removed prior to the morning of the holiday. At the same time, however, the city will not need to pay for additional care to restore the grass.

Last July 4 was on a Wednesday and the first “spot savers” came out Sunday, forcing a proliferation of folks anxious to claim their fireworks and parade-viewing spots on the traditional unspoken “first come, first served” rule, city officials said. Those tarps and blankets damaged a fair amount of grass because they were deployed for more than three days, depriving the grass of sunlight, officials said.

g8trgrl
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Love the new July 4th policy

I love this new plan. I have always thought the early tarps and stakes holding rope looked so tacky!! I have always driven my cart in at 8am & squeezed into a small spot to stand. Usually getting dirty looks of tarp people due to being so close to their "reserved" spot. I love this new way of doing things.

lexveritas
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A Parade, NOT A Picnic or Campout

Good grief, folks - this event is a PARADE, not a three-day rock festival! There is more than enough time on July 4 for people to get themselves to the PARADE, and there is more than enough room for everyone to have a place to stand - or sit in a portable chair if they so desire. There really is no need for GREEDY folks to come early and stake out the best spots and prevent others from having a good view. This is a FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVED SRO event. There is no rational need whatsoever for people to "reserve" huge areas for themselves three or four days in advance. This new policy should encourage people to come to the event who have given up in the past because the best "real estate" has been expropriated by the usual blanket hogs. Now EVERYONE will have equal access on the day of the event!

Mary Chapman
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Spot Savers for the Parade

I am a little amazed at the radical change in parade watching! The morning of the parade many of us have to be at the line up site not much after dawn. It is very difficult to get a spot for our families and return and park at the beginning of the parade route. I wonder if traffic as well as grass was considered.

Would it not be just as kind to the grass, and much kinder to people, to allow this exciting tradition to begin at lunch July 3rd? Without a definite "watch place" people are going to be forced to lug blankets and gallon water jugs
for a possible walk that is very long. This year's plan puts a burden on seniors and small children.

MYTMITE
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RE: Mary Chapman's post---We went to parades for many years

before there were folding canvas chairs, etc. If a child is too young to walk any distance then there is probably a stroller involved, which the child would probably sit in during the parade anyway . I grew up in a city where many families had no car and we walked or rode a bicycle everywhere. Make a special occasion of it--leave early, take your time and enjoy. Same thing with returning, let the crowd thin out and then start your trek back home, or park as close as where parking is allowed, leaving home early enough to get a parking space. Good grief, it is only one day a year and there is no need for homesteading. I am what you would refer to as a senior(79 years old), yet I do not expect exceptions to be made for me, unless it is for some kind person to let me stand before them to get a better view of the parade since I am also vertically challenged as well as being an "oldie". We have become a nation of coddled individuals, especially the children. If they would go out and play instead of sitting in front of a game boy or such in their spare time they would build up enough stamina to take a walk and stand for an hour or so. Once the parade starts there will be no child complaining except about how much candy they were able to catch. And please clean up after yourselves, use this time to teach your children social and civic responsibility--keep your candy wrappers, cans etc in a bag and take them home or throw them in the nearest trash can. After all this is our community and no one wants to look at all that junk left to blow all over the place.

Husband and Fat...
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Mytime- Amen

Our first year in PTC, we didn't have a golf cart, so my wife and I along with one child walking and another in a stroller walked the mile or so to a spot where we stood in the hot sun for a few hours and then walked home with happy kids.

The following year, we had a cart, so we left early, found a spot and still had a good time. Every subsequent year, we had one child in the parade, so as I walked along with the float, my wife hitched a golf cart ride with a neighbor to watch with the other child.

Every year a good time, BECAUSE, we got to see an talk to friends, neighbors, ect.. And guess this we actually met and talked with a lot of very friendly and interesting people.

After one year at Lake Peachtree, we never went back due to the hoggers and their super large blankets with 2 people. Instead we found my secret spot where we can see 85% of the fireworks without the crowd. We go with neighbors where the kids can play with sparklers, eat some fresh watermelon and enjoy good times.

I thank council for this decision.

moelarrycurly
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Burden on small children?

Say what? There is not a child in this country who has a burden on the 4th of July. You tell them we're going to the (any) parade, and we are going to stand and watch it, and they will be jumping for joy. Probably do cartwheels, too.

Blankets and gallon jugs for what? It is a PARADE.

Robert W. Morgan
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The burden will be on the folks from Coweta County

The ones that don't read The Citizen are going to come over a couple of days ahead of time and blissfully stake out their space and leave thinking they are good for the 4th. Then their tarp disappears and I put mine out at 5AM on the 4th. Then they show up and I am in "their" spot and their tarp has been recycled. Either that or the law-abiding Cowetians will show up the morning of the 4th and all the good spots will have been grabbed by PTC early risers.

Fine with me - its my city, not theirs.

moelarrycurly
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RWM-How about Newnan

having their own parade on the 4th at 6PM? Fireworks afterwards.

Any illegal tarps/blankies put out will be gone by 5AM, I'm sure. Don't forget, we have many out of city Fayette Countians who show up, too.