Mayor Bloomberg announced today that starting April 1st, all parades must shorten their traditional routes by 25% and keep the festivities under five hours. The Daily News reports that this is a cost cutting measure, which would save the police about $3.1 million and keep them from cutting counterterrorism measures. Among the most popular of the City’s parades are the Puerto Rican and West Indian celebrations, both of which run way past the new five-hour limit. Rats! Other parades affected will be the Gay Pride Parade, the St. Patrick’s Parade, and the Thanksgiving Parade. The April 1st start for the new restrictions will not affect this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade which (fancy that!) has Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as Grand Marshal.
Madelyn Lugo, a spokeswoman for the Puerto Rican Day Parade, told the Times “It’s going to be hard because of the amount of participants we have…I don’t think we can accommodate those people in five hours.”