• Boston braces for controversial parade over holiday weekend

    By: Robert Goulston

    Updated:

    BOSTON - David Perez was planning on a big day Saturday for his food cart business on Copley Square, but Boston police gave him the news Thursday that it won't be. 

    "They don't want us here on Saturday," Perez said of the food vendors. "It's going to mess up our business. Especially this weekend. It is a big weekend."

    What's being called the straight pride parade is expected to draw a crowd -- whether in support or in protest of it -- as it makes its way from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza. 

    Boston police were working on plans Friday to make sure everything goes off safely.

    We talked to some of the people along the route about this all happening on a holiday weekend.

    Sarah and Jacob Balchin are in Boston from London for the weekend to see the sights. They are just hearing about the straight pride parade that is planned for Saturday right through the heart of Boston. The parade has drawn controversy after the city issued a permit for the group to parade from Copley Square to City Hall. 

    A 'spectacle' and 'perversion': Emerson president blasts Straight Pride Parade

    The group says it also has a permit to use the stage at City Hall Plaza for a 60 to 90-minute speaking event. Community activists have been outspoken about protesting the parade on Saturday. This couple from London says they are not changing their plans.

    "I think we will just carry on what we are doing and if something is coming through then fine," Sarah said. "We've traveled all over the world so there is always stuff going on."

    Boston Police were out Thursday afternoon doing a site survey as they finalize their plans. They are expected to share that with the public on Friday.  

    The general manager at Boston Duck Tours telling us, "We are taking necessary steps to ensure our guests have an enjoyable experience on our tour during a public event that forces streets to close."  The swan boats in the Public Garden which shut down for a previous rally say they will stay open for regular business.  Some locals on Beacon Hill are split on how they'll schedule the day around the event.

    According to Boston Police, the following items are banned from Copley Square and City Hall, as well as the along the entire parade route:

    • Firearms, knives, weapons, sharp objects, shields or fireworks 
    • Pop up tents or canopies 
    • Cans, glass containers, pre-mixed beverages or alcoholic beverages 
    • Wagons or pull carts 
    • Coolers 
    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly referred to as ‘drones’ 
    • Pets (excluding certified service animals) 
    • Grills, propane tanks or open flames 
    • Bicycles 
    • Flag poles, bats, clubs, sticks (including signs attached to sticks)  
    • Any athletic equipment or other item which could be used as a weapon

    >> MOVING DAY: A guide to moving on Sept. 1 in Boston and surrounding areas

    Next Up: