Washington Co., WI – The Town of Erin St. Patrick’s Day parade will be Friday, March 17. The parade will begin at 11a.m. Starting at 10 a.m., no vehicle traffic will be allowed on the parade route. Only pedestrian traffic going to the parade will be allowed to pass barricades on Hwy K.
Pending vehicular and pedestrian traffic on the parade route, the 10 a.m. time may be adjusted. The Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Town of Erin, has taken steps to ensure the parade route and surrounding highways will be as safe as possible for motorists and pedestrians.
The practice of groups establishing large party areas along the highway used for the parade route has caused traffic and pedestrian hazards and significant delays in reopening the highway following the parade.
The Town of Erin has received a permit from the Washington County Highway Department to hold the parade on a closed portion of Hwy K between Shamrock Lane and Hwy 167, however, that permit does not include closing the highway for unrestricted partying.
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The presence of oversize vehicles, recreational vehicles, campers, trailers, and the temporary structures associated with these groups contribute to the hazards along the highway. These hazards significantly delay the clearing of the parade route and encourage excessive drinking both before and after the parade.
To address these concerns and to ensure the safety of everyone wishing to attend the parade, the following steps have been taken to minimize these hazards:
Only passenger vehicles and trucks not exceeding one ton in capacity will be allowed to park along the parade route. Vehicles that are prohibited from parking on the parade route include recreational vehicles, towed or pickup campers, motor homes, buses, oversize vehicles and/or trailers of any kind.
No temporary structures or shelters will be permitted on the parade route. This includes pole tents, frame tents, lean-to’s, awnings, canopies, or similar structures regardless of size.
Use of private property along the parade route is at the discretion of the property owners. Vehicles will be permitted to enter the parade route for the purposes of accessing private property or discharging passengers, however, they will not be permitted to remain parked along the route. Once the parade route is deemed full all vehicular traffic will be restricted on the parade route.
Unauthorized persons, vehicles, and/or structures which are located on private property without the permission of the property owner constitute trespassing. Violators will be cited. All other highways adjacent to the parade route are open highways and all applicable laws will apply.
In addition to the above steps, the Sheriff’s Office will be deploying extra Deputies on St. Patrick’s Day dedicated to enforcing traffic laws to ensure vehicular safety, including detecting and arresting drivers for OWI violations.