Although it apparently was never enforced and its origins are unclear, a city committee voted Wednesday to change an ordinance that has made it illegal for parade participants to shower the streets with candy for eager children.

"Hopefully, this will remove an entire generation from going down the path of a life of crime," said Chad Lewis, a council member who sits on the Legal Finance Committee. "I'm sure it had a legit purpose at one point in time, but it just seems pretty silly to me."

The Legal and Finance Committee approved Wednesday its second and final reading of the revised ordinance that would make the parade pastime once again legal in the city.

Candy throwers currently face the potential for prosecution, although it appears the ordinance has rarely been enforced since it has been on the books.

"I really don't know," Lewis said while questioning the validity of the current statute. "I think it was just one of those laws that has obviously been ignored for years."

Lewis said he's been guilty of at least enabling candy tossing at parades in the past, an activity his children have enjoyed while being spectators.

Who or what brought up a revision, when the ordinance was put into place, and what the actual penalty for violating the candy-tossing law is unclear, according to the city's attorney office.

The Rapid City Council is expected to approve the revised ordinance at its Monday meeting.

Contact John Lee McLaughlin at 394-8421 or

(4) comments


Let's just all stay home.


Glad they are removing the ordinance.


The purpose of the ordinance is to keep kids from running out in the street and being injured or killed during a parade. There have been several instances (fortunately none yet in SD) of children being run over and killed by parade vehicles while collecting candy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But then we are talking about the city council...


I have been in many parades and there are 2 things that are bad. 1- some parents don't supervise their kids and keep them from running out in the traffic. 2- horse in parades and throwing candy usually does not work.

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