CARMEL — The Fourth of July parade is big deal if you live in Carmel, such a big deal in fact that people start marking their seats days in advance. That's something city leaders say is getting a little out of hand and they might have to look at ways to control it.
If you wander down the streets of Carmel in the days before the July 4 you'll see any number of fancy chairs, along with some blankets and a few non-traditional items, blocking off sections near the street so people can have the perfect seats for the parade.
Carmel City-County Council President Jeff Worrell says reserving your spot for the parade is kind of a Carmel tradition, and something they don't want to take away.
"I'm extremely proud of the fact that people can really do that," Worrell said. "There are some really nice chairs there and I'm extremely confident that they will remain there for the parade.
But they might have to put some limits on when citizens can start claiming their areas.
Worrell says he's been on the CarmelFest committee for 27 years, and the "reserve" issue never became a problem until the last couple of years.
"Every year it feels like the effort to reserve a seat gets earlier and earlier," Worrell said. "We've received some feedback over the last couple of years and we're considering it."
Worrell said this year they got photos of a section that was reserved back on June 22. That's 12 days before the parade.
"One chair appears and then everybody's in a race to do it," Worrell said.
It's that mentality that has Worrell working on a proposal to take to the council about a possible ordinance that would make people wait until the two days before the parade to set out their seats.
"We have plenty of room, but if you reserve your seat too far in advance we can't mow and it's just this cascading effect," Worrell said.
The specifics for that proposal haven't been finalized, but Worrell says it will likely try to limit people from reserving their seats until 48 hours before the parade — still plenty of time to save a seat, without causing a distraction or being a nuisance — but he's open for suggestions and discussion on the matter.
Worrell says he welcomes anyone with a suggestion or concern to contact him, either by email at jworrell@Carmel.IN.gov or by phone at 317-696-0162.