St. John's Christmas parade will feature a silent stretch for spectators with autism

For a stretch of the Downtown St. John's Christmas Parade this year, floats and marching bands will be asked to keep it down.

For the first time, parade organizers have established a sensory-friendly zone for people with autism spectrum disorder, or people who just appreciate the silence.

"Our team has always worked very hard to include all individuals with varying abilities," said Gaylynne Gulliver of the Downtown St. John's Business Commission. "This sensory-friendly zone is just a natural step in the inclusion process for the parade."

Organizers are working with the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. The same thing has been done in Corner Brook and Gander in recent years.

Ryan Cooke/CBC

The quiet zone will run along Water Street from the intersection with Adelaide Street to where it intersects with Queen Street.

Participants will be asked to turn down their music, not blare horns or sirens, and marching bands will be instructed to march only.

The parade is scheduled for Sunday. In the case of poor weather, it will be rescheduled for Dec. 1.

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