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Fourth of July parade

Original post made by Fran Hirst, another community, on Jul 4, 2009

I live in Pleasanton and attended the Danville Fourth of July parade for the first time today, with my visiting grandsons. We thought we were lucky to have been able to get "front row seats" even though we only arrived about 1/2 hour ahead of time. We enjoyed the atmosphere before the parade started and I thought it was a great parade for about the first 1/2 hour. A few of the parade participants were throwing out candy, and our grandsons and some of the other kids sitting nearby were gathering up these goodies. But then more and more kids kept running up to get these things. At first they would sit on the ground in front of us, but then the frequency of the handouts was so great that they didn't bother to sit, they just stood in front of us. Some kids actually had collection bags as if it were Halloween. As they would rush up to get candy we would pull our chairs up a little bit in hopes that they wouldn't have room to stand in front of us. It didn't work. Eventually there were so many kids there that we could barely see the parade. I have been to the Rose parade and to other parades where policemen or parade officials will periodically come by and make any people who are out into the street move back. We saw several policemen walk by today but they did no such thing. After about an hour and a half we gave up and left without seeing the rest of the parade. As well meaning as this practice of throwing out candy might be, I think it should be discontinued, as it definitely detracts from the enjoyment of those of us actually interested in looking at the parade entrants. Or, perhaps parade officials could do a better job of not allowing standees out into the street in front of people sitting in chairs.

Comments (11)

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2009 at 12:10 am

You might want to consider sending a letter to the event organizers. It sounds to me, like you raise a very legitimate issue.

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Posted by TBH
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:56 am

It's not about you, it's about the kids. Get over it!

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Posted by Colleen Jarvis
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:08 am

I must say that TBH's comment reflects the real problem in Danville, whether it be at a parade, at a restaurant, in a movie theater, or at the tree lighting. It is especially noticeable in Danville and Blackhawk that the people who live here believe that everything is about "kids." Kids who are thoughtful and respectful because they are people and not wild squirrels, are in the minority in Danville. We stopped going to public affairs in Danville years ago just because of the rude, beastly-acting children and over-indulgent parents.

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Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:13 am

Colleen: I agree with your comment regarding the generally poor behavior of humans in this community -- but I don't believe you should defame squirrels and beasts in the process.

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Posted by Danville resident /parade participant
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:32 am

As a participant, I couldn't agree more about limiting how and what is given out because it encourages children to come closer and closer to the vehicles. The drivers are concentrating on forward as the parade stops so frequently. All children should be sitting down in front to alleviate this problem. Monitors should mandate it if parents don't and won't. It also means the people behind them can see. This is a basic consideration of others. Since when should children be put first in front of any other age group. Everyone who comes to the parade, young and old, wants to enjoy it.

Additionally, I feel we should limit the boring groups who simply walk or ride along and the non-entertaining commercial groups who are simply advertising. Each entry should be a crowd pleaser. Will we continue to let the parade grow longer simploy because every group who wants to be in it can....until the parade is 5 hours long. What happened to quality over quantity. We need more marching bands and other musical groups. I salute the weekly for sponsoring a band.

And please make every skateboarder and bicyclist walk once they are in the parade area whether they are on the street or the sidewalk. Being "on wheels" darting in and out in a crowd is an added danger we could do without. Participants enjoy the parade more when we aren't afraid of hurting someone and when we aren't afraid of someone hurting us.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 9:04 am

All great comments (expect for TBH).

I must say that the Danville parade has improved tremendously since I moved here. 5 years ago it seemed like it was all real estate brokers & trucks. Although, we can still work on adding more entertainment such as marching bands, marching dance teams, performing acts, etc.)

Once again, the problem comes down to the Danville parents. I had to keep telling the children around me to get out of the street & watch out for the cars. The parents were oblivious to their children possibly getting hurt. And of course if they do, you know those parents will blame the innocent parade participant who is doing their best to watch out for darting kids.

I think that many of us have very good ideas & suggestions to improve this parade. We should either join the committee or offer the committee some constructive ideas on how to make the parade safer and more enjoyable for all.

BTW: this was the first year, the parade staff & police did not interfere with where people were sitting & standing. I kind of liked that, but parents need to be more respectful & teach their children manner.

Thank you Fran Hirst for bringing up this very good topic.

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Posted by Leslie
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 6, 2009 at 9:39 am

I agree with all comments except TBH. I don't know why the mentality is such that everything MUST be about kids. I always hear people grousing about there being more "kid friendly" restaurants, stores etc etc. Kids don't necessarily belong EVERYWHERE particularly when they haven't been taught how to act in proper society. I call them "Danville's children of the corn"! It seems the majority seem to think they are entitled to step on everyone elses rights. As a child, I went to some pretty fancy adult places but I was taught how to act. Miss Manners would do a world of good around here.

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Posted by Jim
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:16 am

Guess children in front of me were the exception! They remained seated throughout parade. Parents sat beside them, granting permission to retrieve candy or other giveaways handed to them. Yes, one three year old boy kept challenging his parents and grandparents sporting a huge grin on his face. But they took turns capturing him before he approached any danger.

Also, I did observe before the parade that Danville police required folks attempting to sit in medial strip to move because it would place them in danger of parade vecihles and groups.

Extremely pleased to see and hear San Ramon Valley High School band. Would love to see (and hear) bands from Monte Vista, Cal, etc.

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Posted by RJ
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Teach the children manners? Now isn't that novel idea Marie? I've lived in Danville (which I love) since 1994. And the growing number of unsupervised children is rampant. As a resident of Danville, I am embarrassed to take out-of-town family or friends to restaurants in Danville because of the ill-mannered children running here and there. I just don't understand why the parents/guardians don't understand the social necessity to teach their children polite social skills. Shame on them.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm

In regards to the mention above of the San Ramon HS band:

I might be wrong about this, but it might be the case that the band members came from more than just San Ramon High School, even though they used that high school's band equipment trailer. It might be a summer program that includes kids from the multiple high schools in the district.

The reasons for me to think this might be the case are:

1. I think the band had a sign that just said something like "Danville Band"

2. As they passed where we were sitting, they were playing the Monte Vista HS fight song (which I would think would not be high on the list of songs for a purely San Ramon HS band to play....)

If they are not from a district-wide summer band program, perhaps it was actually a combined San Ramon and Monte Vista HS "Danville" band.

Anyone know the real story?

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Posted by Dolores Fox Ciardellli
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm

The band in question was the Danville Weekly Marching Band. For the last two years we have sponsored the combined high school band. SRVHS band director Cheryl Yee Glass contacts the other high school music department staffs and students asking them to participate. This year we had students from all four high school in the district although the music teachers were both from SRV. Last year Monte Vista teachers also marched alongside.

The kids get together several times to practice for the event so they can play well together, so they are giving up more than just this one morning. But Cheryl says she's happy to do it to support the community just as they ask the community to support music in the schools.

Instead of having T-shirts printed up with our name on them, we make a donation to the music programs because sheet music is very expensive. I love walking in front of "our" band because they play music the entire route - I still can't get one song out of my head!

Dolores Fox Ciardelli, editor, Danville Weekly

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