Tue, Oct. 22

March Against Meth Parade slated March 28 in Cottonwood

April is Substance Abuse Awareness Month throughout Yavapai County. The Verde Valley will help kick off the month with its third annual "March Against Meth" parade. School groups, bands, clubs and the Light Vibe Dance Troop are just some of the participants who will help promote and spread the anti-substance abuse message.

The Verde Area Steering Committee for MATForce, the Yavapai County Substance Abuse Coalition, is sponsoring this event, which will take place on Saturday, March 28, in Cottonwood. The parade is one way for the community to say "no" to substance abuse.

Cottonwood City Manager and MATForce Co-Chair Doug Bartosh urges the public to attend and stated: "Last year the parade and fair had over 40 entries and 1,500 participants. The banners, spirit and enthusiasm of all the kids who marched was thrilling to see. We are hoping to have even more parade entries this year and hope the public will come out to cheer and show support."

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Verde Valley Fair Grounds at 800 E Cherry St. It will march down Main Street and end at Riverfront Park. Prizes will be awarded for outstanding entries! Following the parade, a Community Fair will be held at Riverfront Park with free lunch, resource booths, entertainment, awards, and activities for children.

In addition to the parade and community fair, the public is invited to "Dump the Drugs."

The Cottonwood Police Department will provide a booth where people may drop off unwanted prescription drug or over-the-counter medication to be safely disposed.

Cottonwood Chief of Police Jody Fanning said, "With prescription drug abuse on the rise, disposing of unwanted medication is important to the safety of our youth and our community. Properly disposing of medication also keeps our waters free of pharmaceuticals."

To enter the parade or for more information, please visit the MATForce website at, or contact MATForce by calling 708-0100 or email at

Look for more events and activities throughout the month of April to raise awareness about substance abuse and treatment issues around the county. The cities and towns will issue proclamations declaring April as Substance Abuse Awareness Month.

MATForce will hold its annual Drive Against Meth Golf Tournament to raise funds on April 25. MATForce commercials will be aired on radio and television.

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