CROWLEY – The key word in Crowley this weekend is “safety” during the town’s International Rice Festival.
Past festivals have been marred by accidents and crimes during what is well-known as Crowley’s signature week. Among the simple rules to follow are:
- Watch all small children. Children can disappear quickly when your back is turned - especially in a large crowd. Also be sure to put an identification with a phone number in your child’s pocket just in case he does get lost. If they are small make sure they know to approach a police officer
- Keep an eye out for any areas that have been netted off due to the downtown restoration project. This is a unique year for the Rice Festival and several areas on Parkerson Ave. have been blocked off due to some unsafe areas along the main road. So long as anyone follows all warning nets (they are bright orange), signs, and uses common sense it should not pose a problem.
- Leave purses whenever possible. Purses can make an easy target for thieves in a large crowd. Just be sure to bring enough money and an identification you can carry in your front pocket.
- Don’t walk alone down any dark roads or alleys whenever possible. Crowley isn’t known as a high crime area but you can never be safe enough.
- Try to park in a well lit area if at all possible and don’t leave any expensive items in your car. Better safe than sorry.
- Avoid any confrontations. Judge Barrett Harrington has informed the public that anyone who gets in a fight will jailed and it will cost them $1000 in cash to get bailed out. This applies to everyone.
Crowley Chief of Police K.P. Gibson had a few words of advice for festival-goers.
“This is a family-friendly festival so be sure to respect others,” said Gibson. “Alcohol will be served at this event so drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.”
Gibson also added to the aforementioned advice on fighting.
“Anyone who is arrested at all this weekend will be held with a bail of $1000,” he said. “We understand that this is a different environment and we will be tolerant of most behavior and issue people tickets for misbehavior we consider to be mild. However, once someone crosses that line they need to understand that we will arrest you and it will not be cheap to get out.”
As long as people follow these rules and use common sense the festival should be a fun-filled event for all to enjoy.