Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dade City To Review Parade Safety

Dade City To Review Parade Safety

By JO-ANN JOHNSTON, The Tampa Tribune

Published: December 12, 2007

DADE CITY - The hometown holiday parade went off without a hitch, but a boy's death during Plant City's Christmas Parade last week provoked a safety discussion among Dade City commissioners Tuesday evening.

Commissioner Scott Black said the accident Friday evening that killed 9-year-old Jordan Hays prompted him to request a review of safety measures for parades in Dade City. Jordan was walking alongside a float and throwing candy to spectators. He got caught under a wheel of the float when he reached for more candy to toss.

Plant City officials are reviewing the incident.

Black suggested groups in Dade City that plan parades come together for their own safety review, along with the city's police department.

The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce hosts the nighttime holiday parade, held this year on Nov. 30. Thousands of people turn out along Seventh Street to see the 100-plus entries, which include floats, marching bands and equestrian units.

The Pasco County Fair Association holds a daytime parade each February in downtown Dade City to kick off the weeklong fair.

Other business and civic groups are also involved in those community events.

In another matter Tuesday, commissioners scheduled a workshop for 4 p.m. Jan. 8, before their next regular meeting, to discuss the proposed Citrus Ridge housing development outside city limits. A developer is asking Pasco County for permission to build the subdivision on the city's western boundary, with access from St. Joe Road.

Commissioners and residents say the developer wants to put too many homes there and they worry about the strain on local roads. The developer made some concessions on density in a recent hearing before the county's Development Review Committee, but not enough to satisfy neighbors.

The county commission has the final say on whether the community may be built.

Reporter Jo-Ann Johnston can be reached at (352) 521-3062 or

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