Tablet Opinion

Parade a thing of beauty — until it’s over

Thousands will gather in downtown Fort Worth on Friday evening, as they have for the past 30 years, to view the city’s annual Parade of Lights.

Some will begin arriving early that afternoon to get a choice spot where they can watch the more than 100 entries, ending with the arrival of Santa Claus at the new Sundance Square Plaza, where the city’s Christmas tree already will be lit.

It is a great urban scene in one of the most vibrant downtown areas in America.

But after the crowd disperses, the scene is not such a pleasant one as mounds of litter are left behind.

Fort Worth doesn’t deserve to be treated like that, and this year there is a campaign to make sure spectators and participants make the “Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights presented by CHASE” the cleanest holiday parade in America.

The Reverse Litter campaign has teamed with Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc. in the effort to collect and dispose of parade litter. Ushers and Reverse Litter volunteers will pass out small bags along the parade route, encourage attendees to fill them with trash and pass them forward for disposal after Santa’s float arrives. There also will be a booth at the XTO Energy Holiday Fun Zone before the parade, organizers say.

In addition to keeping downtown clean, this project also will help protect our waterways.

“Much of the litter we see on land eventually ends up in our waterways. And all the storm drains in downtown lead straight to the Trinity River,” Chad Lorance of the Tarrant Regional Water District said in a news release. “So our efforts to make the Parade of Lights the cleanest parade in America will help keep trash from flowing into the Trinity.”

The effort coincides with the “Ten on Tuesday” campaign in which residents are asked to pledge to pick up 10 pieces of trash each Tuesday. It seems like a small thing, but in addition to cleaning up public spaces and decreasing pollution in our waterways, such a commitment will save tax dollars.

Anyone interested in joining the Reverse Litter team at the Parade of Lights can contact Anthony Spangler at 817- 332-0404 (anthony.spangler.com) or Iman Cole at intern@ocgpr.com.

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