I think we can all agree that Riverboat Days puts on one of the best parades in the region. With over 119 parade entries (and counting!) lined up for this year’s event, the wide range of floats and their interpretation of the theme “Magic on the Missouri” is sure to entertain once again!

Our one-and-a-half-mile parade route showcases some of Yankton’s most beautiful streetscapes found on Douglas Avenue and 3rd Street. On Saturday morning of Riverboat Days each year, these residential and downtown areas become packed with Yankton area residents and visitors, all gathered to watch the show. Most people attending are also enjoying their morning coffee, hydrating for the hot day with bottles of water, and savoring the sugary candy that parade participants toss out. All of these beverage containers and treat wrappers could lead to a very trashy aftermath once the parade is over. That’s where Keep Yankton Beautiful comes into play!

For years, Keep Yankton Beautiful board members have been volunteering to be your garbage cans on wheels. We know how important it is to provide convenient and accessible garbage receptacles to spectators along the parade route in order to keep the trash off of the sidewalks, curbs, and streets. That trash in the streets would otherwise get blown into our sewer system, where it could cause clogs or leech chemicals into our water system. That litter would also make our otherwise gorgeous streetscapes look trashy and unkept if it was left to lie after the parade was over.

Food containers and wrappers are in the top three kinds of items that are most littered, making our parade route a prime target for a messy parade aftermath. And studies show that people feel more justified in littering if there is already litter in that area. You’ve had the same thought I’m sure: “What’s another gum wrapper when there’s already a pop bottle and fast food bag laying there?” It’s tempting to push aside the message we’ve been told since childhood of not littering when it makes our life at that moment easier.

While Keep Yankton Beautiful intends to leave the parade route looking better than when the parade even started, we can’t keep up with the litter created throughout the Riverboat Days and Summer Arts Festival event spaces. We would love your help in keeping those areas clean and looking attractive for our residents and visitors! Speaking of visitors, those people who traveled to Yankton to enjoy this amazing annual event will leave for home with an impression of Yankton. Let’s help that impression be as positive as it possibly can by keeping our trash confined to the cans, and picking up litter whenever we feel it’s safe to do so.

So in short, help us Keep Yankton Beautiful! Look for golf carts cruising up and down the parade route with KYB signs on them again this year. Have your garbage ready to toss into our mobile receptacles, and help keep our entire city looking great throughout this year’s busy Riverboat Days weekend.

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