Hundreds turned out Saturday, March 29, for the second annual March on Meth parade to show their support to stamp out substance abuse in Cottonwood.
The parade had nearly 40 entries as groups traveled from the Verde Valley Fairgrounds, up Main Street and west on Mingus Avenue to Cottonwood Middle School.
Entries ranged from elementary school groups, cloggers, horse-drawn carriages, dogs, and Shriners in little cars all sporting anti-methamphetamine and anti-substance abuse messages. Many of the groups also plan to participate in next year’s parade.
“We had some really good entries. Mingus was well-represented this year,” Cottonwood City Manager Doug Bartosh said. “I think we had double the participation we had last year, our first parade.”
Bartosh, along with Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, began the Methamphetamine Advisory Task Force Yavapai County Substance Abuse Coalition in 2006. The parade is one of the outreach activities of the group.
Bartosh said he was excited to see the signs, participation and people speaking up against substance abuse.
Having a parade to visually make an anti-drug statement was the idea of Mingus Union High School Dean of Students Kathleen Alexander-Young.
“[Alexander-Young] just took the lead and has done a really great job with it. I think it will be even better next year,” Bartosh said.
He also thinks there is a lot of community interest to keep the parade going and growing.
“As long as we have that interest and as long as we have substance abuse, we’ll keep it going,” Bartosh said.
The parade culminated at the middle school’s athletic fields where there was live entertainment, informational booths, hot dogs and hamburgers.