City leaders reinstate plans for fall parade after community backlash

COWETA, Okla. – After receiving quite a bit of backlash, city leaders have decided to go ahead with a fall parade in one Oklahoma community.

Earlier this month, 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.

Nash Lucas, Nakita Nakal, Marvin Stone, Bonnie Stone

After receiving backlash from the decision to cancel the parade, city leaders say they have decided to change the route.

The parade will start at the junior high school before turning on Pecan and looping through several streets to end up back at the school.

Parade participants are also asked to avoid using trailers since the streets are so narrow.

KJRH reports that a local business has donated state-of-the-art barricades to help with security measures.

“With them helping to provide those to us for the festival, we can block either end, the north or south end where the festival is, and take those water filled barriers and other barriers we’ve used in the past to help us block the side streets, which will help us with our safety,” said Carrie Allamby, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

The parade is now set to start at 9:45 a.m. on Sept. 15.