Parade Floats Inspected

POSTED: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 11:17pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:25pm

Whether it was drilling nails or cutting construction paper, these float workers are adding their last bells and whistles before the Sun Bowl Parade.

But first, they have to get the green light from safety inspectors.
"We pay a lot of attention to safety features."

Gene Reimer has built floats for thirty-three years. He says preparation is key to building a safe float.

"The only way you avoid accidents is to plan ahead and do things safely."

The El Paso Fire Department agrees. That's why they inspect every float before they roll out onto Montana Avenue.

"We want it to be a success."

John Concha says they provide a checklist of float requirements, including flame-retardant decorations, a fire extinguisher and a working exhaust system.

"It's all for the safety of the general public that's attending the parade and also the participants on the floats."

That's no problem for Reimer, who says there's always a possibility that something could go wrong.

"The last thing you want to do is have an unsafe float going down the street and become uncontrollable and get into the crowd."

Inspectors say there's never been an accident in the 73-year history of the Sun Bowl Parade and they'd like to keep it that way. So do the float builders, who just want to see their creations go full-steam through the city...safely.

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