by Phil Prazan
Kegs of green beer and a whole lot of Irish spirit are expected to take over downtown Des Moines this weekend.
This year though there's a few changes to Saint Patrick's Day celebrations; all in the name of safety. The game plan is for the new safety measures to keep kids out of the street.
Yellow bags cover the parking meters as an early procedure for the new St. Patrick's Day parade route. Moving the floats up 15th street from MLK then turning East Down Grand is the easy part. What worries parade organizers is keeping hundreds of kids out of the street.
So two new things are happening this year. The caution tape which fenced the route off last year will be replaced by green snow fence: bigger and thicker barriers that still allow kids to watch the parade through holes.
The second thing is if floats are going to give out candy, walkers have to pass by the fence and give out the candy directly into the crowd.
"We held meetings before the parade and the only people that get in the parade are people that went to one of our three meetings and agreed to our safety issues," says Jerry Grady from the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
The organization is excited for the parade and they don't think any of the new measures will lessen the excitement or fun from the spectacle.