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Expect new twist for parking situation at Saturday's Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade; new truck dealership open on 23rd Street
If you are looking for a parking space in downtown Lawrence on Saturday, I hope it is for a horse.
The annual Downtown Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas parade is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, and as you know, it is an all horse-drawn parade. (No, kids, that's not candy in the streets.)
In fact, keeping the parade crowd out of the street is a big part of having a safe parade, and organizers are taking a new step this year. For the first time, barricades will be erected along the sides of Massachusetts Street. Parade organizers are spreading the word that the barricades will have an impact on people coming downtown to park.
Marty Kennedy, one of the organizers of the parade, said barricades would start going up at 8 a.m. Saturday. They'll be placed behind cars that already have parked along Massachusetts Street. So, if you park in downtown Lawrence on Saturday, you'll need to get there before 8 a.m. and you'll need to be prepared to remain parked until past 11 a.m.
Kennedy said the decision to use barricades this year was based on the safety of parade watchers and the horses.
"A lot of our horses are used to being in corrals," Kennedy said. "The barricades will give them the idea that they're supposed to go nice and straight down the street."
Kennedy said he doesn't think the barricade situation is going to cause any problems for people wanting to get a parking spot along the parade route. He said the parade has become so popular that people already know they have to come early in the morning to get a spot along Massachusetts Street.
"In the past, there really haven't been many parking spots to be had after 6 a.m.," Kennedy said.
The barricades will be removed as the street sweepers travel down the parade route. Kennedy estimated people would be able to leave their parking spots about 15 minutes after the parade had ended.
In other news and notes from around town:
• If you are going to a horse parade, it just seems like you ought to go in a one-ton pickup truck with a good tool box to sit upon and a jug of grandfather's special sipping cider to keep you warm.
I'm still working on securing the sipping cider, but there is news on the big truck front. The longtime Lawrence business Kaw Valley Industrial, 1105 E. 23rd St., has expanded into truck sales.
The new business is running under the name of Kaw Valley Truck Sales. Ryan Lauber, a son of the owners of Kaw Valley Industrial, is running the new venture. Lauber said the business is trying to focus on larger used trucks — mainly three-quarter ton and one-ton trucks — that can be more difficult to find on traditional car lots. The business also is offering service work on diesel engines and truck and four-wheel drive accessories. The business also hopes to be a player in the agricultural truck market, with bale haulers and other farm trucks.
The business, which carries only used vehicles, usually has an inventory of around 15 to 20 trucks, Lauber said.
Lauber said the new focus seems to fit well with Kaw Valley Industrial's business, which includes ATVs, chainsaws, mowing equipment and other such items.
"We're kind of a one-stop shop now," Lauber said. "You can come in and buy a one-ton truck and a chainsaw."
As they say at the horse parade, "Whoa, there." That sounds like a lot of work. How about we sip some more cider first?