COWETA, Okla. – A parade to celebrate the beginning of fall in one Oklahoma town has been canceled amid safety concerns.
KJRH reports that city leaders in Coweta voted unanimously to cancel this year’s fall parade, which usually runs during the annual fall festival.
For several years, leaders say they have been concerned about the safety of parade participants and spectators.
In the spring, organizers of the parade met with Oklahoma State University officials to learn from their experiences with the OSU homecoming tragedy.
On Oct. 24, 2015, Adacia Chambers drove her car into an unmanned police motorcycle before plowing straight into the crowd of onlookers during Oklahoma State’s homecoming parade.
In all, authorities said four people were killed and 46 others were injured in the crash.
Officials said 2-year-old Nash Lucas, 23-year-old Nikita Nakal, 65-year-olds Dr. Marvin and Bonnie Stone were all killed in the crash.
Last year, Coweta officials decided to change the parade route away from the fall festival. Instead of traveling along Broadway Street, the parade traveled along Hwy 51 with the help of a lane closure.
Coweta Chamber of Commerce Director Carrie Allamby told KJRH they also added extra security measures, like water-filled barriers, in places where crowds were gathered.
“There was a lot of backlash last year when we changed the route from a parade being driven down the middle of a festival. Yes, it was that way for many, many years. The world isn’t the same as it was many, many years ago, unfortunately,” Allamby said.
This year, organizers say the parade would coincide with the Tour de Cow Town Bike Ride, which would put a strain on the number of emergency personnel on hand.
Coweta’s fall festival is scheduled for Sept. 13 through Sept. 15.