GALLIPOLIS — With Independence Day festivities quickly closing in on Gallia County, Gallipolis Chief of Police Jeff Boyer and Gallia County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michelle Miller want the public to keep a few safety concerns in mind.
“We’re going to have Second Avenue closed for probably at least two and a half hours on the Fourth,” Boyer said in relation to the parade and other activities slated to happen on the road. “The parade is probably not going to be over until roughly 8:30 p.m. Our concern is if you’ve got the parade ending, Second Avenue is going to be closed off. Everybody needs to come early for the fireworks.”
Miller said those coming to the fireworks can expect traffic delays.
“That night after the fireworks, the state routes are going to take priority to get everybody out of town,” Boyer said. “So if you’re on Third Avenue or Fourth Avenue, you’re going to be delayed more than what the state route is. They will be our priority to get traffic out of town.”
Gallipolis police will be out on bicycle patrol as crowds shuffle into Gallipolis City Park.
“I want to remind everybody to lock their cars because we still have a problem,” Boyer said. “Loose change, purses and anything valuable need to be out of sight and people need to lock their cars.”
The police chief referred back to a string of incidents in which individuals were reporting thefts out of their cars due to unlocked vehicles in town. Miller recommended that if women put their valuables in the trunk of their vehicle to do it while others aren’t watching. The Tribune recommends that if anyone takes valuables to the festivities to keep them on their person or to leave them at home.
Police recommend families have a plan if they get separated during the course of festivities. Take photos of the family the day of the event with a cell phone so police and festival staff can help search for a lost person and to make them easily identifiable. Do not be afraid to approach officers or volunteer staff if in need of assistance. Remain in close contact and schedule meeting areas.
Boyer and Miller both asked that anyone involved with the Independence Day parade to not throw candy while driving down Second Avenue. This may cause young children to dash into the street and pose as a collision hazard. Emergency vehicles are also asked to not use sirens during the festivities unless in the event of an actual emergency to avoid confusion with the public.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.