County cancels candy toss |

County cancels candy toss

by Sheila Gardner

First, the facts: There will still be candy, magnets, toothbrushes, bracelets, campaign literature, writing implements, stickers, coupons and other ephemera distributed at Carson Valley parades.

But beginning with the Parade of Lights on Dec. 3, the delivery system is undergoing an overhaul.

By the decree of Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini, parade participants will no longer throw items off floats to bystanders.

“After reviewing several injury incidents concerning small children attempting to retrieve objects from vehicles and floats during the Carson Valley Parade, it is our policy to restrict any participant from throwing items,” Pierini said in an Oct. 20 memo to county commissioners.

For as long as anyone can remember, candy and other items launched from floats have rained down on the crowd, causing hordes of children to scamper into Highway 395 and collect the loot.

“It was a pretty simple decision to make,” the sheriff said in an interview Tuesday. “We’ve had several situations in the last couple of years of kids just getting too close to the vehicle and got hit. The little people don’t realize the seriousness and danger of getting too close to the tires.”

Pierini said he can’t remember when the candy tossing wasn’t part of parade.

“In my mind, it’s really sad we have to stop this. It’s always fun to have kids out there getting candy,” Pierini said.

Beginning with the Parade of Lights, participants can walk next to the sidewalks along the parade routes and hand out candy and other items.

“If we could get around this we would, but I think it’s a liability for people driving the floats. At other parades, they don’t allow any candy,” Pierini said.

Christoph Waldburger, immediate past president of the Carson Valley 20-30 Club, said the club would make sure all parade entrants were aware of the change for next year’s Carson Valley Days Parade.

“We understand where it’s coming from, but I am not too happy about it,” he said. “We’re going to have to have a lot more people to walk along the parade route to throw out the candy.”

Waldburger blamed the change on “bad parenting.”

“People need to pay more attention to their kids,” he said. “The last thing we want is somebody getting injured, but I think it will take away from the floats and the spirit of the parade.”

Chamber Executive Director Bill Chernock said the move makes sense, especially with the Parade of Lights occurring after dark.

“There were a couple of really uncomfortable problems in the summer,” Chernock said. “It makes all the sense in the world for us, particularly being at night.”

Chernock said he looks at it as an opportunity for more parade participants.

“The floats will need walkers to hand out candy,” he said.

Chernock said parade applications were trickling in, and participants have been notified of the change.

“We want people to know ahead of time so they will plan to have extra people to walk along,” he said.

On the positive side, Chernock said it will be an opportunity for kids to test their manners.

“They’ll have an opportunity to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,'” he said.


Applications for the Dec. 3 Parade of Lights are available at the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce office, 1477 Highway 395, Suite A, Gardnerville, NV, 89410 and at the Chamber Web site:

Information: 782-8144.