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Broussard emphasizes clearing streets, lost children

Making room for cleaning crews, free wristband program will benefit festival

Crowley Chief of Police Jimmy Broussard discussed some points of emphasis he wanted to make for this year’s 81st International Rice Festival with the Post-Signal on Thursday.
“This year we are stressing a few more things than we have in the past,” said Broussard. “Our free wristband program and clearing the streets at midnight.”
Broussard said that every year frantic parents will approach officers during the festival, which has a crowd of thousands of people on Friday and Saturday, looking for their child. Usually, it is an issue of them just wandering off while playing with other children.
However, this year will see the institution of a new program compliments of the Optimist Club along with the Rice Festival Office, the Crowley Art Association and the CPD. Parents who want to ease their concerns about their children can take them to four different sign-up booths to get registered. These booths will be located at:
• The Home Bank driveway at the intersection of North Parkerson Ave. and Second St.
• Harvest Fest at First Baptist Church at 228 East Fourth St.
• The Crowley Art Association booth at Levy Park.
• A booth located at the intersection of N. Parkerson Ave. and Front St.
The booths will be handing out wristbands for the younger children to wear with their contact information written on them so that parents can be easily reached in case they are missing. The booths will be easily distinguishable by the blue and white balloons they will have as part of their decor.
“This program is free so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it,” said Chief Broussard. “And it helps us out so much.”
Broussard also wanted to be sure to mention that the police will begin to clear the streets at midnight each night of the festival so that the cleaning crews can move in to do their jobs.
“The streets must be cleared as stated by a city ordinance,” said Broussard. “The cleaning crews start their jobs at midnight and we need to just give them some space to do their jobs.”
Broussard also stated that there were no major incidents during last year’s festival (he gave credit to Gold Star Amusement for keeping the fairgrounds better secured, lit up and clean) and he hopes that this year’s festival will be the same.
This year’s Rice Festival will be held from October 19-21.

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