The sale of toy guns by vendors has been banned from this year's Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade following the formation of a petition by a city resident.
"Last year at the parade I was just really disturbed by the presence of toy guns," said Holyoke resident Adriana Powell. "And, young children around us were kind of hunting down the parade goers. I just found that disturbing. And so, after the horrific tragedy at Newtown, it just really motivated me to do something about it this year."
Powell took to the streets in an effort to ban the sale of toys.
"I just felt that the presence of the toy guns at the parade kind of reflected poorly on the community," said Powell.
Powell, who is a mother of two young girls, collected almost 50 signatures from concerned neighbors and presented them as well a letter to the mayor.
"We took those signatures, communicated with both the parade committee and the license board," said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. "Both organizations and groups agreed."
The mayor says police will be monitoring to make sure the new rules are enforced.
"It's a small action that we take as a city, but it sends a big message about our values in the community," said Morse.
Around half a million people are expected to come to the city for the parade.
"I'm really proud to be a part of a community that would take that stand," said Powell.
Other items, including novelty exploders like snappers and silly string, are also banned from the event.
The parade will be Sunday, March 17, and will begin at 11 a.m.
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