HOLYOKE, Mass (WGGB) — If you put down a place-marker to reserve your spot on the sidewalk for Sunday’s Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade — it’s probably not there anymore.
DPW crews removed any debris along the route early Tuesday. Residents say you can’t claim the city didn’t warn you.
“I noticed the signs saying that you shouldn’t put them up until Saturday 7am,” Elaine Bourhan said.
But still many tried to secure their prime real estate for the parade over a week in advance. The chairs, tarps, tape, and blocks all went to the wayside Tuesday.
Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse says the debris is a hazard to pedestrians and a nuisance to residents who complained about the debris.
“That does nothing to beautify the city and so we are going to take that seriously,” Morse said.
Those who live along Northampton Street say they’re relieved the city is taking action.
“It’s a little bit too possessive for people to come and just put things in front of your property,” Bourhan said. “That’s going a little too pushy.”
“As soon as one person starts one thing, everybody gets crazy and it’s just like a ripple effect,” Bridget Kugler said.
Morse says parade goers can start reserving spots at 7am Saturday and not a minute before. He hopes all 400,000 parade fans will have a fair chance to get a perfect view of Holyoke’s big day.
“I think it sends the message again, on the flip side, that ‘hey we have a really important event here in Holyoke,’” Morse said. “It’s not going to be perfect. There may be some ropes and chairs around but the city is going to do what it can to control the mess.”
The confiscated chairs and debris will be stored at DPW headquarters if you’d like to pick up your items. Current city ordinances prohibit residents from blocking any sidewalk.
The city council is expected to hear a motion Tuesday night for a new ordinance that would directly deal with parade preparation.