No alcohol or pets allowed at Christmas parade

Wade McIntyre
Horses pull a carriage in a past Christmas parade. No alcohol or pets will be allowed at this year’s parade. Horses and seeing eye dogs are exempted from the ordinance.

Two new ordinances adopted by the City of Gonzales pertaining to the Annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, will restrict alcoholic beverages and pets on public property for the first time.

The alcoholic beverage ordinance forbids possession or consumption of alcohol on any type on the public right-of-way within 100 feet of the parade route on parade day.

Formerly the chamber asked members of the parade to forgo alcohol consumption, though the city did not have an open container law on the books.

“This is new,” said Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Sherry Despino. “What we’re trying to do is to disallow spectators on the streets from drinking alcoholic beverages and keep the Christmas parade a family event.”

The chamber requested the ordinance because there seemed to be more alcoholic beverage consumption last year during the parade than normal, Despino said.

The pet ordinance is in response to a greater number of people walking around on the parade route with their pit bulls.

“The ordinance is in response to the pit bulls,” said City Clerk Clay Stafford.

Despino said the chamber is asking parade spectators to please leave their pets at home.

“There are a lot of children at the parade and its for the safety and security of all,” she said.

The pet ordinance makes it unlawful to have an animal of any sort on public property within 100 feet of the parade on parade day. Seeing Eye dogs and horses taking part in the parade are excepted.

The council adopted the ordinance at its Oct. 12 meeting.