NYPD Cash Crunch Rains on City's Parades

New restrictions on parade length

By Jeremy Boxerbaum
|  Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010  |  Updated 8:31 AM EDT
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Fortunately, a Macy's spokesperson says the parade already checks in below the requisite time limit.

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No city does a parade like New York. And it's probably safe to say that no city holds as many.

There are Chinese New Year Parades in February and the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in March. As the year goes on, you have the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Gay Pride Parade, the West Indian Day Parade, the Columbus Day Parade and countless others. And of course, there's the biggest parade of all -- the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

They go on for miles and they last for hours. But starting April 1, the majestic displays won't last quite as long unless someone comes up with several million dollars for the NYPD.

The police department says it needs to trim its budget for parades and other public events. Beginning in April, all of the city's parades will have to be 25 percent shorter and no parade will be allowed to last longer than five hours. That means next month's widely anticipated St. Patrick's Day Parade won't be affected this year. 

A police spokesman says the new parade rules will keep the department from having to cut more important services, such as anti-terrorism and anti-crime units.

If you're concerned that the new rules might make you miss Snoopy and some of the other Thanksgiving floats, don't worry.

A spokesman for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade told The New York Times the parade usually clocks in at under two hours already.

But other parades might have to speed up or trim down to make the cut.

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