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Mayor Friedman statement on upcoming weekend parades

Mayor Friedman Statement:
Originally read on January 4, 2018, at City Council's regular meeting 

City Council has approved two separate requests for parades next weekend to commemorate the holidays of Lee-Jackson Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

We want to assure our residents, businesses and guests that our community is safe and rights will be protected. Our local and regional teams have partnered with the state and other public safety agencies to prepare for the holiday events and to create an atmosphere of safety throughout the weekend. Our community is welcoming and inclusive. We request that everyone abide by the laws and respect each other. We ask our community to be in touch leading up to, during, and after these events. If you see something unusual, please say something, and allow our public safety team to look into it.

To ensure the safety of all during the weekend, we remind our community of the following list of items prohibited at parades and other public gatherings in Lexington:

Except for lawfully carried firearms, no one present at an organized public gathering may carry any weapon. A "weapon" for the purposes of this provision includes (i) any of the items which may not be carried hidden from observation without a concealed weapon permit under Virginia Code Sections 18.2-308, (ii) any object with a sharp point or edge, except a knife with a blade of less than three inches, (iii) bats, clubs, or similar items, (iv) chemical irritants or caustic substances, aerosol or pressurized substances which are flammable, (v) fireworks, torches or other burning items (except for candles with drip guards), (vi) stones, rocks or other items which may be used as projectiles (vii) glass bottles or containers of any kind. No pole or rod shall be used to carry any sign or banner. No person who participates in any event under this section shall: wear a mask as prohibited by Section 18.2-422 of the Virginia Code, carry a shield, wear or carry a helmet not being used in connection with riding a bicycle or motorcycle. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of a wheelchair, cane, walker, or similar device by a disabled individual which is necessary for mobility. Nothing herein shall apply to law enforcement or other public safety officers in the performance of their official duties.

We thank our citizens, parade organizers, businesses, staff and public safety teams for working together to ensure this will be a safe holiday weekend for Lexington and our surrounding community.