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Large number of items banned from TriPride in Kingsport

Rain Smith • Aug 20, 2019 at 3:03 PM

KINGSPORT — City police have released a lengthy list of prohibited items for next month’s TriPride Festival, including many materials that are typically abundant at downtown events.

The banned items were announced Monday night by the Kingsport Police Department in preparation for the LGBTQ+ celebration to take place on Sept. 7. Events that day will include a parade, live entertainment, a sidewalk art competition and food trucks.

Based on attendance at last year’s event in Johnson City, TriPride organizers said they expect a large turnout. But none of those in attendance will be permitted to bring purses, fanny packs, flags more than 3 feet long, water or selfie sticks.

Meanwhile, folding chairs are permitted (on the condition they are not accompanied by their carrying bags) while bottled water will be provided for free inside the festival.

The list of prohibited materials is extensive when compared to other Kingsport events such as Fun Fest, the Fourth of July parade, and this coming Saturday’s Unashamed prayer rally and march. Police have issued no list of banned items for the latter event, which organizers hope will bring up to 3,000 people to the downtown area.

However, TriPride organizers say the KPD’s handling of their festival is actually “similar to any large venue’s security protocols.”

“These are the measures they feel necessary to ensure a safe and conflict-free event, which is a top priority for the city and us as organizers,” reads a statement from the TriPride Board. “We rely on their judgement and were extensively involved in the discussion. The KPD security measures are based on much research completed since last year’s Pride event in Johnson City. The primary goal is safety so that everyone can have a wonderful day.”

According to the KPD, the following items will be strictly prohibited:

* Weapons of any type including firearms, knives, electrical weapons, chemical weapons or other items that could be considered weapons.

* Glass, thermal, plastic, or metal containers including food, liquid or drink cans; and bottles or coolers of any kind, including water bottles.

* Containers, bags, purses, fanny packs or backpacks (only required medical items or child care items will be allowed).

* Folding chairs with bags, poles, sticks, clubs, baseball or softball bats, golf clubs, umbrellas, tents or canopies, selfie sticks, or other items that could be used as weapons.

* Masks, including gas masks or any other face covering.

* Torches, lanterns, fireworks or any other device that uses fire or fuel.

* Aerosols, spray cans, or pressurized containers.

* Toy or replica weapons.

* Laser pointers, flashlights or other devices that can be used to direct light into eyes or faces.

* Animals except working service animals.

* Missiles, projectiles, or other items that could cause injury if thrown.

* Items determined to be potential safety hazards.

* Horns, noisemakers, or any amplified sound equipment devices.

* Signs larger than 3 by 3 feet.

* Outside food or beverages, containers or bags from fast food or other restaurants or grocery stores.

* Bicycles, skateboards or scooters.

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