The Fourth of July is getting close, and that means questions — as there are every year — about what the City of Evanston’s rules are about saving a place for yourself along Central Street to view the parade.

The short answer is nothing can be placed out before 6 a.m. on Friday, July 1, and you can’t rope off your seating area.

The full details from Section 7-2-9 (B) of the Evanston City Code:

Fourth Of July Parade Parkway Regulations:
(B)          1.
Chairs and blankets only are permitted on the parkway on Central Street from the west side of Bent Park to Asbury Avenue each year no earlier than six o’clock (6:00) A.M. on July 1 for the sole purpose of viewing the July 4 parade. No such chairs and blankets are permitted at any time on the sidewalks and on areas where the pavement extends to the curb. Such chairs and blankets shall not encumber, obstruct, or encroach on crosswalks or handicapped access to the sidewalk. All such chairs and blankets must be removed no later than six o’clock (6:00) P.M. on the day of the parade. Any person placing such chairs or blankets on the parkway shall assume all responsibility for doing so and by placing such chairs or blankets on the parkway holds the city harmless for any and all consequences of such act. Such chairs and blankets placed on the parkway prior to six o’clock (6:00) A.M. on July 1 or remaining on the parkway after six o’clock (6:00) P.M. on the day of the parade will be removed by the city. The city is not responsible for loss of or damage to property placed on the parkway or removed from the parkway.
2.
No tape, rope, stakes, or other similar material for the purpose of cordoning off or reserving any area in the parkway shall be permitted at any time. Such materials will be removed by the city. The city is not responsible for loss of or damage to property removed from the parkway. Any person placing such chairs and blankets on the parkway shall assume all responsibility for doing so and by placing such chairs and blankets on the parkway holds the city harmless for any and all consequences of such act.
(C)
Penalty: Any person violating the terms of this section shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for any such offense.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Any enforcement, ever?

    Has the city ever issued any tickets for the use of rope or tape?  They seem to enforce the 6:00am starting time for saving a spot and that's about it.  A very large percentage of the chairs/blankets also use rope and tape to save spots and many more use only rope and tape.  Also, many spots on the actual sidewalk are "reserved" using tape and this rule doesn't seem to preclude that (rope and tape are banned on the parkway, not the sidewalk).   Of course, people would freak out if the city started enforcing the ordinance as written.  That seems to be a recurring theme around here (e.g. the # of unrelated people in a dwelling ordinance; leaf blower ban, etc.).

    Anyway, I'll be swooping onto my traditional spot on Central like a vulture at 6:00:00 am on Friday with my tent poles, flagging tape and junk chairs.  I guess I'll just risk that hypothetical fine again this year, ha!

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