Leaders happy with COTR flow

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

This year’s weekend Christmas on the River activities, despite a few early morning showers, was another success.

Though it was difficult to tell exactly how many people attended Saturday’s events, Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce President Jay Shows said it was comparable to past events.

“It’s hard to really get hard numbers on it, but we had as good a crowd as we had last year and we had a pretty good crowd last year,” Shows said. “The “Fair in the Square” had a great crowd from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and the barbecue contest had great participation based on the gate receipts.”

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Unfortunately, attendance at the nautical parade seemed to be down, Shows said. He said they felt mixing fireworks into the parade could be a solution for next year.

“We were a little disappointed in the crowd for the fireworks show,” Shows said. “We normally have fireworks in between the floats in the nautical parade and this year we did not. I think that is something we can look into for next year that may help out.”

The committees, Shows said, held a meeting Monday and agreed the event was a success. He said they also discussed things they can do to make next years events even more special.

“Overall, I think everything went off without a glitch,” Shows said. “We had a critique meeting and looked at some of the things that went well and some of the things we can improve on and we will put those ideas to work in preparing for next year.”

Criminal activity was also at a minimum. Director of Public Safety Jeff Manuel said they faced only minor problems.

“I think everything went great,” Manuel said. “We tried some new things like blocking off the streets before the parade, which upset some people, but I think it worked out very well.”

The biggest problem the police department faced, Manuel said, was replacing barricades they had already put up.

“The only problems we really had were with people moving the barricades to get around them,” Manuel said. “It wasn’t really a problem when they moved them, but a lot of times they didn’t put them back.”

Like the committee heads, Manuel said they would review some of the tactics that worked and ideas for other patrol options.

“We will look at the changes we made and see what else we can do for next year,” Manuel said. “I think we did as well as can be expected. Our guys knew what to expect and I think they did a good job.”

A major factor in keeping crime and other problems under control, Manuel said, was assistance and cooperation from the public. Manuel said the department was very grateful for this.

“We would like to thank the public for working with us,” Manuel said. “They were very helpful with tough traffic conditions and did a great job.”