Jefferson County Dairy Parade

Safety Plan to Minimize the Spread of COVID- 19

To provide a reasonably safe and enjoyable Jefferson County Dairy Parade, Jefferson County Economic Development has developed this plan to minimize the potential spread of COVID – 19 during the Jefferson County Dairy Parade (The Parade).   The Parade is a long tradition in Jefferson County that celebrates the agricultural traditions and products produced in in northern New York.  Traditionally, the parade is held the first Friday in June in concert with the Dairy Festival which has been held inside the Dulles State Office Building.   At the festival, a variety of educational displays about agriculture and especially dairy help educate hundreds of elementary school students.  Then at 7pm, the Dairy Parade starts at Watertown High School and travels in front of the Dulles State Office Building and ends at the City of Watertown public parking lot. The parade usually has about 40 entries ranging from small to large floats, marching bands, farm animals, a large variety of small and large farm equipment, a variety of agriculture and civic groups, and many other various entries.  The parade is usually finished by 9pm and then a giant ice cream sundae is served to the public inside the Dulles State Office Building.

Due to the COVID – 19 Pandemic, and in order to hold the Dairy Parade, we are implementing a variety of practices to minimize any possible spread of the virus during the parade.   We recognize that the public attends the parade at their own free will, at their own risk and it will be impossible to require the public to follow all guidelines.  We believe we can implement the following actions to minimize potential spread of the virus:

  1. COVID Infection Rates are dropping rapidly as of March 1, 2021.  Leading physicians nationwide are indicating human herd immunity is rapidly rising.  Millions of people are receiving the COVID-19 vaccination daily, including in Jefferson County.

  2. The Dairy Promotion Board has cancelled the indoor dairy festival and ice cream sundae event. Because this was an indoor event with many people in a confined space, it was too susceptible to community spread of the coronavirus.

  3. We will hold the parade on Friday, June 4 commencing at 7pm. 

  4. One week in advance of the parade, we will begin a public information roll out indicating we highly recommend everyone viewing or in the parade wear their masks, sanitize their hands and will heavily emphasize social distancing.  We will refer to it as keeping “two cow lengths” between your immediate family group and the next family group.   We will use a variety of fun, cow themed, references in our outreach to make it fun to practice recommendations.

  5. We are contemplating whether we can provide cow themed space makers people can put on the ground to keep their distances. This is especially important in front of the Dulles State Office Building.  

  6. Before the parade begins, we will have youth from various youth groups march along the parade route demonstrating proper distancing recommendations and mask wearing. They will carry signs to help remind the public to keep our event safe.

  7. At the very beginning of the parade, we will hire Running Boards to have one of their vans drive along the parade route reminding people to practice the recommended precautions.

  8. At the parade staging area, we will separate each parade entry twelve feet from the next entry. We clearly mark the lineup area so this will be easy for us to achieve.

  9. Any floats or parade entries that include a group of people will be required to maintain a 6 foot diameter distance from others either walking or sitting on a float.

  10. Everyone entering the parade will be asked to wear a mask and keep it on during the entire parade.

  11. Any marching or other bands will not be allowed to bring “air” instruments. Only percussion and string instruments will be allowed.  We do not expect many of the school marching bands to participate but will welcome them given our requirements for participation.

  12. Some entries in the parade hand out food items to parade viewers.  We prohibit “tossing” of candy and food from floats already.   We will require that all food items must be pre-packaged. Food products must be placed on a tray where the parade viewer may “pick” the product off the tray without contacting other items on the tray and without making direct contact between the parade viewer and person handing out the product.  It must also be done in a way to maintain social distancing guidelines. Anyone handing out a packaged food item must wear a mask and gloves. They will be required to provide their own hand sanitizer and must sanitize immediate before the parade begins.  If they hand out spoons for ice cream cups, the spoons must be pre-packaged.

  13. No literature of any kind will be distributed during the parade. 

  14. We will not have a judging stand for the parade and will not use a public address system.  We will utilize our dairy parade Facebook page and live broadcast the parade on that page.

  15. As the last entry of the parade, we will have walkers encouraging everyone to wash or sanitize their hands and wear their masks until safely away from anyone else.


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