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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 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. 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.​

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

  3. 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 if not vaccinated, sanitize their hands and will heavily emphasize, social distancing.  We will refer to it as keeping “one cow length” 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Any floats or parade entries that include a group of people will be required to maintain a 3 feet diameter distance from others either walking or sitting on a float.

  7. Everyone entering the parade will be asked to wear a mask if not vaccinated and keep it on during the entire parade.

  8. Marching Bands will be allowed to enter the dairy parade.  Wind or Air based instruments will be allowed but must strictly maintain the minimum six feet social distance zone around each instrument.  Never should a wind-based instrument be played while projected at the audience on the sides of the parade route.  We ask marching bands to perform their musical numbers along the entire parade route.  We are trying to discourage large crowds from gathering in front of the Dulles State Office Building. There will not be a live announcer or judging stand set up at the Dulles State Office building as there has been in the past.  There will be livestreaming and a live broadcast of the parade by NBC Watertown with a live announcer narrating the parade. But that location will not be revealed publicly.   

  9. 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 if not vaccinated 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.

  10. 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.

  11. At all times, any Center for Disease Control or New York State Guidelines for COVID – 19 safety that are applicable to your entry in the parade, should be followed.


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