Community needs to continue support of Christmas in the Park

Published 3:35 pm Monday, December 16, 2019

Christmas in the Park, and the festivities that go along with it, have been and continue to be a good thing for the Vicksburg and Warren County community.

That was especially true Saturday afternoon and night, where adults could enjoy the beautiful sounds of The Voice contestant Zach Bridges singing in the park and from the Mississippi Barbeque Company outdoor stages while children enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate, carousel rides and the bright Christmas lights and decor.

We published the same in our editorial in the Weekend edition and continue to hope the event comes back and is even bigger and better next year.

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To ensure Christmas in the Park comes back to downtown Vicksburg next year, the entire community must support it. That is why it is important that we do not let the trolley accident that occurred Saturday night affect decisions of whether or not to visit the downtown park, enjoy the lights or participate in a carousel or trolley ride.

At roughly 8 p.m. Saturday, the trolley broke away from the tractor pulling it when the tongue of the trailer snapped. The trolley did have chains connecting it to the tractor that served as a back-up safety measure, but the tongue of the trailer snapped behind the chains, leaving the trolley without anything connecting it to the tractor pulling it. It rolled backwards down Washington St. until it ultimately hit a curb within the same block and stopped. Fortunately, all passengers got off the trolley and there were no injuries.

Christmas in the Park officials and the City of Vicksburg are working with Sheffield Rentals to learn from the accident, and make the trolley even safer for future riders.

City of Vicksburg Safety Director Steve Williams confirmed that Sheffield Rentals is changing the configuration of the trailer hitch and that the trolley will have back-up safety chains that go all the way back to the axle.

“The plan to correct it is better than the original design,” Williams said. “The tongue will not separate again the way they are going to fix it.”

Outside of the new trailer configuration, we urge adding break-away breaks to the trolley. The breaks would stop the trolley from rolling backward should it disconnect from the tractor again and are a wise addition with the steep route up and down hilly streets to see the beautiful Christmas lights at City Hall.

We stand firmly behind the Main Street Program as they work with Sheffield Rentals to repair the trolley and ensure it is safe for all passengers. We hope the Warren County community will give them the opportunity to enhance the back-up safety features on the trolley and will meet them Thursday evening for a ride.