Town trying out quiet area so people with sensory issues can enjoy Christmas parade
BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - Taking a drive around Berea, Ky., you can tell Christmas is in the air.
“It’s all come together really good,” said Brent Billings with the Berea Fire Department. “I think it’s one of the best years for decorations in Berea.”
Many have gotten into the holiday spirit. Berea college, City Hall, Old Town and even the fire department.
“We are grown kids,” Billings said. “It’s really what we are.”
The holidays are about being together and that idea started a conversation about having a part of the parade for those that have a difficult time with everything a parade has to offer.
“We like the sirens and lights too, but we understand there are people out there who don’t,” said Billings.
So, on Saturday, Berea’s Christmas parade route will have something new.
“We are going to have a quiet zone this year where from Bell Hooks Way to Ellipse Street we are going to have no sirens,” Billings said. “This will help kids and adults who don’t like loud noises or have sensory issues to enjoy the parade.”
It’s an idea that many in the first responder community understand.
“As I’ve driven the fire truck through the years in the parade I’ve seen people cover ears,” Billings said. “It is a loud siren.”
The response from the community to the quiet zone has been eye-opening.
“Someone said that this will be the first year that their child gets to enjoy the parade from the outside of the vehicle and that tugs on the heartstrings,” Billings said.
If you want to go to the parade or take part in the quiet zone, here’s where you need to go. The parade starts at 4 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m. If you want to sit in the quiet zone just go where you see the green on the map. That includes part of North Main Street. The area in red will include all the sights and sounds:
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