TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- The city of Tahlequah is adding a "Silent Zone" to their Christmas parade route to be more accommodating for children with autism or sensory-related issues.
The idea came from the president of "My Friends and Me" which is an organization that raises awareness and adds resources to children with autism and other disabilities.
The president, Nicki Barnes Scott, is a mother of a son with autism, and a daughter with down syndrome.
In the past year she worked with city officials to bring the first inclusive playground to Tahlequah.
She recently saw an opportunity to expand inclusion in Tahlequah within the annual Christmas parade by adding a silent zone. In this area, parade goers and participants would have to be quiet so kids with sensory related issues could enjoy the parade without being startled.
"Because they have maybe one child who could not participate in this thing that all the families in Tahlequah would be at, their other child may not get to participate either," said Scott.
The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. on December 7th in downtown Tahlequah.
MUSKOGEE AVENUE PARKING SPACE CLOSURE – 2:00 p.m.
Parking spaces on both sides of Muskogee Ave. from Goingsnake to Chickasaw will be closed beginning at 2:00 pm on parade day. All vehicles are required to move from the area by the time of closure. The closure of both sides of the street are due to spectator safety.
STREET CLOSURES – 3:00 p.m.
* Crafton St. from N. Grand to N. Oklahoma Ave.
* Streets intersecting with Crafton St. - Callie Drive, Lewis Ave., NSU Drive (closed from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. – no access)
STREET CLOSURES – 5:30 p.m.
* Muskogee Avenue/Grand Ave. from E. Allen Rd. to Chickasaw
* College Ct. to Muskogee from Shawnee to Chickasaw
* Muskogee Ave. to Chickasaw Intersecting Roads including: Chickasaw, Choctaw, Delaware, Downing, Goingsnake, Keetoowah, Morgan, Shawnee, Spring
* Streets will not have access to/from N. Grand - E. Arden St., Jamestown St., Leoser St., Seminary Ave.
* Streets will not have access to/from N. Grand - Berry St., North St., W. Arden St.
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