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Parade Crowd's Bad Behavior Upsets Neighbors

Dan Bammes
Homeowners along 900 South in Salt Lake City say the city isn't doing enough about trespassing and trash left behind by spectators at the annual Days of '47 Parade.

  The Days of ’47 parade draws hundreds of thousands of people to the streets of Salt Lake City every year.  And some of the people who live along those streets say the city isn’t doing enough to keep the crowds from trashing their property. 

Salt Lake City’s street sweepers were out along 900 South on Friday, cleaning up after the huge crowds that lined the Days of ’47 parade route the day before.

The rules for spectators are clear – no saving spaces before 6 p.m. the day before.  Stay on public property.  No tents.  No dogs.  But some residents say not much is being done to enforce those rules. 

Kristopher Schmitt moved into his home near the corner of 9th South and 2nd East earlier this year.

“We had people all over our yard," Schmitt tells KUER.  "We had fights breaking out in front of our house.  Y’know, my dogs were freaking out the whole day.  It just wasn’t something we were prepared for.”

Other residents say spectators were setting off fireworks all through the night, and police didn’t seem to be making much of an effort to enforce the rules.

Salt Lake City Police Detective Dennis McGowan says there were actually hundreds of police officers in uniform along the route from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday morning.  But those who are unhappy about the way things were done should contact the department.

McGowan says, “Certainly we’d like to hear from them.  And we’ll incorporate those feelings and those complaints, perhaps, into what we do for next year.”

McGowan says officers try to talk spectators into complying with the rules voluntarily and that usually works.  But they will issue citations or make arrests if they have to.

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