May 21, 2018
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West Athens cancels 4th of July parade after it gets out of control

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Maine — Organizers of a Fourth of July parade in central Maine are canceling this year’s procession after last year’s event was marred by bloody fistfights, public drunkenness, drug paraphernalia sales and pickup drivers burning rubber.

West Athens has been holding a zany parade each Independence Day for 40 years featuring madcap floats, belly dancing, hippies, children’s kazoo bands and a political satire play in a local gravel pit.

But the parade won’t go on this year after more than 50 residents petitioned selectmen asking them to stop it.

Tamar Etingen, one of the original parade participants, told the Morning Sentinel that the reported use of the synthetic drug known as “bath salts” during last summer’s parade changed the atmosphere from peace and fun to violence and aggression.

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