Children’s Holiday Parade returns to Fall River after hiatus

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A tragic incident at a holiday parade in Wisconsin is raising concerns for people nationwide, including here in Southern New England.

A 39-year-old man is accused of plowing his SUV through a crowd of parade-goers, killing five and injuring nearly 50 others, according to Waukesha police.

The organizers of the 37th Annual Fall River Children’s Holiday Parade are assuring locals that extra security precautions are being put in place.

Grace Gerling, executive director of Greater Fall River RE-CREATION, tells 12 News that safety is their number-one priority as they welcome back attendees after last year’s hiatus.

“We all need this. We need to bring some normality back into our lives,” she said. “Folks need to come out and enjoy the festivities before the holidays and to be secure and know we’re working really hard to keep everyone safe.”

Streets along the parade route will be shut down, according to Gerling, and there will be check-in procedures for participants.

“Anyone who’s not a part of the parade cant even get to the check-in point,” she said, adding that Fall River police will be on hand to provide security.

“We’ve always worked with the police department,” Gerling said. “We have barriers in certain sections of the parade route. We have police officers on motorcycles going up and down the street making sure things are running smoothly.”

They’re expecting upwards of 20,000 people to attend the parade, according to Gerling. She says they’re excited to give children an unforgettable experience.

“They get to see camels coming down the street, Clydesdales, large balloons like the Macy’s Day balloons, so things that they missed for a whole year are coming back this year,” Gerling said.

“We are going to be sure to keep everyone safe during this holiday parade,” she added. “That’s our main goal, that they’re safe and having a good time.”

The Children’s Holiday Parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Kennedy Park on South Main Street.

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