By Jerome Tharaud/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
After being stalled for weeks awaiting government approval, plans for an Independence Day parade are marching forward.
A Montana Department of Transportation permit for a Fourth of July parade down Fifth Avenue was signed by Havre Mayor Bob Rice Thursday afternoon and by MDT division maintenance chief Dave Hand this morning.
Hand said he spoke on the phone with parade organizers Charlie Grant and Bruce Grant about changing the parade route, which was originally set to run north on Fifth Avenue, west on First Street, and south onto Third Street to disperse.
"They changed their route to something that was more agreeable and Bob (Rice) signed off on it and I signed off on it," Hand said. "Their parade's approved as far as I'm concerned."
Bruce Grant said this morning he is "happier than two gophers in soft dirt," because of the decision.
Charlie Grant said he was "relieved." "Well, it took a long time to get that done," he said.
The new parade route begins on Fifth Avenue near Bull Hook Road and ends at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Second Street. Fifth Avenue is a state road.
On Monday the Havre City Council postponed a vote to approve the parade because it originally would have dispersed on Third Street - a city street - making the city liable for any injuries or damage to property that happened there.
Hand said there are no liability issues as far as the state is concerned since the city will be controlling traffic for the parade.