EDMOND, Okla. – LibertyFest officials say safety is always a priority at their events. The event, which spans a nearly two week time period, is one of the largest in the state.
One year ago, an Oklahoma boy died after a tragic accident involving a LibertyFest parade float.
Eight-year-old Aidan Hooper was killed after he either fell or climbed down from a float.
Officials with LibertyFest say the accident happened just after the parade had concluded. The little boy was struck by the trailer that was hauling the float.
LibertyFest officials say safety is a top priority. While this year some of those who are part of the parade say last year’s accident is definitely something on their minds.
At Edmond’s First Church of the Nazarene work is underway building a float for this year’s parade.
With the work comes the memory of last year’s tragic accident involving Aidan Hooper.
Dorothy Whipp, with Edmond First Church of the Nazarene, said, “We do everything we can in advance to make sure all of our people are safe.”
Terry Officer, President of LibertyFest, said, “That’s one of the things that is on the agenda at each meeting is safety will be discussed.”
Libertyfest officials say they will not talk with us about the accident or any changes which have come as a result; however, they do say safety is a top priority.
Meanwhile, Dorothy says they have come up with their own float rules in addition to what LibertyFest regulates.
She said, “We ask that if any of our families have five year olds or under that they actually ride on the float.”
She says while they are looking forward to the festivities of the parade, last year’s accident will have them watching a little more closely.
Dorothy said, “I think we’ll be paying extra attention to all of the starts and all of the stops and just trying to make sure we’re doing all that we can.”
LibertyFest rules include requiring participants on bikes or ATVs to wear helmets. The rules also prohibit groups from throwing candy or other items to the crowd.