Broward County

What’s a Candy Cane Parade without candy canes? Unthinkable, city decides

UPDATE: Hollywood city officials had a change of heart Wednesday and quickly reversed its decision to ban candy canes from the coming 63rd annual Candy Cane Parade, according to the Sun Sentinel. The city originally intended to enforce its new ordinance that prohibits the distribution of plastic items on the Broadwalk that includes the kind of wrappers around candy canes. Instead, the namesake candies will remain a part of the Candy Cane Parade and will be handed to the crowd rather than tossed from floats.

Hollywood’s official Candy Cane Parade website promotes this year’s 63rd edition of the seasonal favorite that rolls down the Broadwalk with videos of parades past.

What the site isn’t telling you is that this year’s parade on Dec. 8 — for the first time since its debut in 1956 — won’t be featuring the very item that gives it its seasonal flavor: candy canes.

That’s because the city is enforcing a new law that bans handing out plastics east of the Intracoastal Waterway.

What the Candy Cane Parade can hand out is the city-endorsed alternative: peppermint saltwater taffy wrapped in wax paper. Got some of that around your house?

Hollywood isn’t alone with its quest to protect marine life from plastics. Coastal cities including Miami Beach and Coral Gables did away with plastic straws and grocery bags and Styrofoam containers.

In years’ past, people on the floats at the Hollywood Candy Cane Parade tossed the namesake treats to kids in the crowd. But this year they risk fines that would run $50 for the first infraction, $100 for the second to a $200 fine for each time a plastic-wrapped candy cane is tossed after that.

Given that about 50,000 people turn out every year for the parade well, you do the math.

“We will not be violating our own ordinance,” Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey told the Sun Sentinel, which first reported the story Tuesday.

If you’re going to the parade, this ruling applies to you, too. You can bring candy but not if it’s wrapped in plastic — and no chocolate, either. Hollywood city officials fret chocolates stain the Broadwalk’s concrete.

If you go

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 8

Where: On the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk starting at Missouri Street. The route travels south to Harrison Street.

Seating: Free bleacher seats stationed along the parade route from Garfield Street to Polk Street. Parade emcees will be stationed at Charnow Park at Garfield Street and at the Hollywood Beach Theatre at Johnson Street.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.