Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announced that the city would not hold its annual Christmas parade this year after a girl died in a parade-related crash last year.
The mayor claimed that the city is looking at alternative options, leaving many in the community upset over the change.
#ralpol Mayor @maryannbaldwin said there will be no Christmas parade in 2023 in the city. The city of #Raleigh said Thursday it would not grant a special event permit application for https://t.co/l5V0Shb69h
— James Bledsoe (@JamesGBledsoe1) September 15, 2023
"The decision was made out of an abundance of caution for parade participants and spectators, as well as respect for Hailey Brooks’ family and friends," the city wrote in announcing the change.
"Brooks, 11, was dancing with the CC & Company Dance Complex in the on Nov. 19, 2022, parade when she was struck and killed by an out-of-control pickup truck that lost its brakes on Hillsborough Street near Boylan Avenue," WRAL-TV reported.
'Difficult decision': City of Raleigh won't grant Christmas parade permit https://t.co/cCC7VDVTvh
— John Clark ABC11 (@JohnClarkABC11) September 15, 2023
"The Brooks family is disappointed that the City of Raleigh chose to cancel its 2023 Raleigh Christmas Parade rather than adopt basic safety measures to protect the community," the Brooks family said in a statement.
"The City did not reach out to the family before making this decision. If consulted, the Brooks family would have urged the City to proceed with the Parade after implementing basic, common-sense safety protocols that should have been in place in 2022, such as those proposed in the Shine Like Hailey Parade Safety Act," it continued.
"It has been 10 months since Hailey Brooks was killed, and it is time for the City to honor her by enacting protections for the safety of this community - not by canceling the parade," the statement concluded.
The Greater-Raleigh Merchants Board approved the City of Raleigh's proposal to remove all motorized floats and vehicles from the parade lineup. https://t.co/Eb0c2UKcsc
— WWAY News (@WWAY) September 16, 2023
"The Greater-Raleigh Merchants Board approved the City of Raleigh's proposal to remove all motorized floats and vehicles from the parade lineup," in a Friday update.
"That decision comes less than 24 hours after the City of Raleigh denied a special event permit, which is required for big events like parades," WTVD-TV added.
The city hopes the new plan will enhance safety and allow the city to continue the tradition after strong pushback from local residents.
The parade may look much different but the city appears determined to make significant changes following the tragic loss of Hailey Brooks last year.