‘I think it’s a lot safer for the kids’: New city ordinance bans parking along WestFest Parade route

Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 6:42 PM CDT
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WEST, Texas (KWTX) - This weekend, the annual Westfest is underway, and it wouldn’t be Westfest without the signature Westfest Parade, complete with colorful floats and bass drum beats.

For decades people have brought out their lawn chairs and parked their cars to view one of the biggest parades in all of Central Texas. But this year, for the first time ever, the City of West prohibited cars along the parade route.

Instead, those in attendance could only park in neighboring blocks that didn’t follow the parade’s route along Reagan Street through Main Street.

This new city ordinance aims to help local businesses downtown who say less cars means more customers.

”My niece works here at the restaurant and they were able to have people all week-long because they usually have people parking here on Wednesdays,” parade attendee Judy Kaska said.

Parents said this change means they don’t have to worry as much about their kids catching candy.

”I think it’s a lot safer for the kids,” parade attendee Drew Bearden said. “You don’t have to worry about people backing up.”

Others say the new city ordinance creates a better line of sight.

”We didn’t like the cars in front of us because we couldn’t see,” Kaska said. “It’s just like the Veterans Day parade in Waco, they don’t allow cars there either.”

Although not everyone is happy about the change, passing down the tradition of this parade from generation to generation brings smiles to all.

”It’s important for my baby nephew to experience what we did when we were little,” parade attendee Blanca Bearden said.

Westfest 2023 continues on Sunday with the Kolache 5K starting at 8 a.m., followed by the Polka Mass at 10 a.m. and the Kolache Eating Contest at 12:30 p.m. The festival grounds will be open from 8 a.m. until midnight on Sunday. For more information on purchasing tickets and directions to the festival grounds visit the Westfest website.