Parade falls victim to liability concerns

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The China Grove Fourth of July celebration has been hit with a debilitating problem. The staging area for the parade’s main event has been deemed off limits by the caregiver of the land owner. The reason given for prohibiting access to this center of town is liability.

The relative of the land owner is concerned about being sued should someone damage the property or injure themselves. This piece of land has seen 12 years of uneventful celebrations. The community of China Grove purchased liability insurance for the past two years to satisfy any concern the caregiver of the land owner may have.

Pike County and the community of China Grove take care of this piece of land year round without the permission of the land owner. Doing what good neighbors do best: helping pick up tree limbs after storms, weed eating, cutting grass when needed, and policing trash. There is no alternate staging area for the event since this property is the center of town.

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The land owner of this piece of property has expended zero time, physical energy, or money for the preparation and clean up of this once-a-year event. The use of their property was their sole support for the community. China Grove is grateful for the 12 years of use and is greatly saddened to see it come to such an abrupt end.

The Meeksville Fire Department will be impacted since they have used this event as their largest fund-raiser for the year. Thousands of folks from Pike Road, Dothan, Enterprise,

Union Springs, Ramer, Troy and Montgomery will also be impacted. Our hometown Fourth of July celebration has been hit with an ever-increasing sign of the times – litigation paranoia. Our legal system has become so pervasive that no one is responsible for their own actions. We hear stories every day of people loosing their freedom to do things on their own property, to smoke outdoors, drink large sugary soft drinks, wear an American flag t-shirt in a public school, or drive without a seat belt. Who would have thought 20

years ago that the fear of being sued would prevent an entire town from celebrating freedom!

Suzanne Johnson