Now that I am a bitter adult, I can see the danger that comes from small town homecoming parades.

Back in the day, I used to be on all my school floats. Now, seven years after I graduated from Fabens High School, I decided to head out to watch a homecoming parade.

My parents were excited to go so I thought to myself,"Why not?" Did I want to see people I went to school with? Not really. Old teachers? Of course not. Kids almost ran over by trucks and tractors? Good heavens, NO!

Emily Slape

Yet, that's exactly what I got.

What I realized that afternoon, was I am officially a crazy adult. Gone are the days of catching or throwing candy, because now I am concerned about small kids, holding Walmart bags, chasing candy in the streets. As I stood on the side of the street, next to my parents, I thought, "Who's controlling this crowd?"

Yes, they have security but it's one guy with a yellow vest on. He slightly waves his hands for kids to get back as giant trucks and tractors take wide turns on a small street. The trailers attached to these vehicles are decorated representing a barnyard theme. No idea why, but I feel like it was just an excuse to use the most materials laying around the town.

As I watch about thirty floats drive by, my anxiety was increasing with each piece of candy being thrown to the crowd. Little kids, even a few old men were running towards the moving vehicles. They only cared about getting candy, any way possible.

The local volunteer fire department even took part in the parade, showing off their new vehicles. My only thought was, "If a fire happens, who's at the fire station?"

Emily Slape

As homecoming season goes into full effect in the coming weeks, I have some advice for fellow small town parade goers. First and obviously, watch your kids. Honestly, I've only been to Fabens and Clint homecoming parades, but for years there has been the same issue. Kids are running towards moving vehicles, sometimes under them and no one is stopping them. Adults, I am worried about you too. I've seen a few of you push kids for candy or fight over spots to watch the parade. Seriously. Stop it. This is why we can't have nice things.

Emily Slape

Parade participants keep your eyes on the road. Especially, the drivers of these floats. While we watch the parade we see you throwing candy, smiling, waving and being easily distracted instead of watching the road. When you crash into the band, that's going to be on the local news. Do you want that?

Emily Slape

To the people sitting on cars, please hold on. I've seen a few of you slip off and play it off. Those of you standing on trailers, don't try to hit people with candy. I was on those things once too, I know the drill. Be nice. I was actually hit yesterday and it was totally not cool. Babies take a hit to the head with a lollipop, the elderly get a tootsie roll in the nose and it's just complete chaos.

The most important thing to remember when attending homecoming parades is to not forget the bag you will need to hold candy in. The almighty Walmart or Dollar General bag. Yes, you are from El Paso if you have your handy, dandy Walmart bag.

Emily Slape

Be safe this homecoming season!