Peddlers dealing such items as soft drinks, T-shirts and cotton candy at the city’s annual Strawberry Festival parade have interfered with past parades and “occasionally caused significant delays,” according to city officials.
To allow for a smooth parade, the street vendors will have to conform to stricter regulations approved by the City Council. A “parade peddler ordinance” approved unanimously by the City Council will be in effect for this year’s parade on May 24.
The peddlers aren’t causing serious problems, more like “aggravating,” said Jerry Margolin, a spokesman for the Strawberry Festival Assn., explaining that they force marchers to step around them and thereby foul up the procession.
“They’ll walk right out in the line of march,” he said. “It was really bad during the last parade. And a lot of them are rather rude about it. You ask them to step out of the way and they just ignore you.”
The new law requires each peddler to pay $10 for an operating license and to carry a permit card while working the Euclid Street route. In addition, they must not “obstruct the passage of the parade and shall move behind spectators or into designated turnout areas while the parade is passing.”
They also will be forbidden from operating on the festival grounds at Main and Euclid streets, although Margolin said vendors haven’t been a problem on the grounds in past years.
City officials will attempt to notify vendors of the changes, and an orientation session will be held prior to the parade, during which they will be provided with copies of the law and maps of designated vending areas.