Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016    Login | Register        

New rule: July 4 blankets, tarps can come out at dawn in PTC

In a last-minute change, the Peachtree City Council came up with another solution to avoid a proliferation of tarps and blankets in advance of July 4 that made the city look like “a shantytown,” in the words of several council members.

Council agreed by consensus to allow tarps and blankets to be placed the morning of July 4 beginning at dawn. If that sounds a bit ambiguous, it is on purpose to avoid a stampede of parade and fireworks spectators from rushing to stake out their spot at the exact same time.

The problem is that last year, the first tarps and blankets were put out over the weekend, some five days ahead of the holiday event. Naturally, that spawned a run on the “spot saving” and residents subsequently were subjected to the resulting less-than-picturesque views for the next five days.

City staff had recommended an ordinance that would require require blankets and tarps to be unattended for no longer than 60 minutes. Combined with a curfew at city parks and rights of way, that would have taken care of the matter as well, according to city staff.

It did leave heartburn with some council members, however, as there were concerns with interfering with the “tradition” of staking out one’s spot for fireworks and parade viewing days in advance.

Councilman Eric Imker originally suggested allowing the spots to be saved starting at midnight the day before, in an effort to give city residents the jump on outsiders who come to watch the parade and fireworks.

One concern with that concept was the potential for disagreements and a need for police presence, which is already stretched thin with all the other necessary duties for the July 4 festivities.

The decision from council was not final because city staff had to rewrite the ordinance to make the necessary changes. The new ordinance is expected to be approved sometime next month.

Presumably the new ordinance will allow staff to confiscate tarps, blankets and other materials left in city rights of way and in city parks in advance of dusk on July 4. Such an element was included in staff’s original proposal. Council did not specifically say whether they wanted to include that power in an amended ordinance.



Another stupid decision by council.

Who cares about a stupid "tradition" by the selfish people who think they have the right to stake claim to a prime spot along the lake or right of way so that they aren't inconvenienced by getting there early to go to the parade or the fireworks.

I think I will start collecting blankets and tarps and head out after dinner on the 3rd and stake multiple claims up and down the Parkway and along the lake for my 4 family members to pick the best spot at the last minute.

Who is going to be working anyway after 5 pm on July 3rd anyway? Do you really think the police are going to patrol for tarps?

I say, stake your claim anytime you want, but if you leave your tarp, another family can overthrow your little monarchy. You snooze, you lose. If you want to go to the parade or fireworks and want the best spot, perhaps you bring your family to camp out. It could be fun.

SPQR's picture

tarps unattended for more than an hour or so should be considered abandoned and an unsightly nuisance then collected and disposed of. A condoned practice of staking out public property in absentia is simply incorrect. Calling it a "tradition" is about as dysfunctional as you can get.

mudcat's picture

Better put out some signs at all the best places letting people know the rules - especially the out of towners so they are't surprised that their early tarp is missing. Could be some confrontations among the clueless and entitled people - many of whom are out of towners.

A first for me, but I will be out there at 5AM with my tarp. That's easy for me to do and I'll have the satisfaction I am taking back some of my space from the out of town poachers.

I live adjacent to one of the prime viewing areas and I'm always amused by the entitlement mentality displayed by those staking their claim in the days leading up to the 4th. The turf battles are often more entertaining than the fireworks.

However, I've NOT been amused when these visitors decide that my bushes are a reasonable substitute for a port-a-potty. Also, don't get me started about the litter these slobs leave behind!

SPQR's picture

A family of four travels to Pasenda from Peachtree City to experience the Rose Bowl and Parade. The night before they carefully lay out their massive tarp to allow comfortable viewing of the famous parade. You may add your own ending.

mudcat's picture

Rose Bowl Parade or any other - Macy's Thanksgiving, Mummer's, St. Patrick's, the list goes on and on. My guess is you could get arrested in NY for just carrying a tarp - never mind trying to put it down as a space saver. We must have the only parade in the country that allows this "tradition".

Maybe this is just an interim step before an all out ban. Let's let the new mayor and council crack down on this - or at least use it as a moneymaker. I still like that idea.

I just looked up the rules for watching the parade along the route:

"Curbside viewing is also welcome on a first-come, first-served basis. Pasadena city ordinance allows the occupancy of curbside space along the Parade route beginning at noon on the day before the parade."

See they allow people to come a day early, but you must occupy the space, not put a tarp down and show up whenever you want like a prima donna.

mudcat's picture

Nothing wrong with that - it shows commitment. Good family activity, bond with your fellow parade watchers, drink some wine, cook some hot dogs - purrfect.

last year some fool stole my tarp and put their name on it, and then moved it down two spots as if it was theirs. they did not like the confrontation when I pointed out to them the small corner in which my name was placed, and threw their belongings on the ground after threatening to call the police. I am sure the parents were embarrassed in front of their kids at their behavior.
there were other reports as well from people who said the same thing happened to them. just stupid

Do you want to know what is " just stupid " ? Claiming public land for your own personal use by laying down a tarp, now that is " just stupid ".
Get to "your spot" a few hours early and enjoy the parade like everyone else. I have an idea, no more tarps, period. Now that was easy. The city can move on to more important things, or am I " just stupid ".

Living right next to the parade route, also, being disrupted by every running and bike race, I will have no problem adding to my blanket/tarp collection the night before the Fourth!

Ad space area 4 internal