Police plan additional security measures for Holly Days Parade in Galesburg

Blick Art Materials’ antique fire truck rolls down Main Street during the 2019 Galesburg Holiday Parade. Tightened safety measures will be in place when the Galesburg Holly Days Parade kicks off on December 5 in downtown Galesburg.

GALESBURG – Tightened security measures will be in place when the Galesburg Holly Days Parade leaves on December 5 in downtown Galesburg.

The annual Holiday Parade, hosted by the Downtown Community Partnership of Galesburg, is moving to an evening event this year, with a scheduled start at 5 p.m. on the parade’s regular route along Main Street.

Previously: Galesburg Holiday Parade Gets Lights, New Name, New Theme

In light of the recent tragedy at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the town of Galesburg developed an improved plan to block the parade route, including an increased police presence with uniformed officers at every intersection , as well as police vehicles leading and ending the parade procession. Illuminated and unlit barricades will be used to help control traffic and public safety, and public works vehicles will both be present during the parade.

At least six people died and more than 60 were injured – at least 18 of them were children – after the driver of an SUV crossed a barrier and engulfed in a Christmas parade in the suburbs from Waukesha, Wisconsin, Nov. 21.

“The safety of the community is the top priority of the Galesburg Police Department,” said Galesburg Police Chief Russ Idle. “While a tragedy can strike unexpectedly under any circumstance, rest assured that the police department is doing everything possible to create a controlled and safe environment in which the community can feel safe to celebrate and enjoy the parade. “

The Galesburg Fire Department will also be involved in the parade through their traditional rescue of Santa Claus from the rooftop.

“The city is grateful to wonderful organizations like the Downtown Community Partnership who plan and host fun events for citizens,” said Galesburg City Manager Todd Thompson. “We are happy to partner with them on safety measures and look forward to a fun and safe community event. “

Peoria was planning to take similar steps for its 134th annual Santa Claus Parade, the country’s longest-running holiday parade. Peoria Police said those attending the parade would see more police barriers as well as city vehicles blocking access to several downtown streets and sidewalks to provide additional safety measures.

In Galesburg, the traditional Santa Rescue will take place at 4:30 pm on Sunday, December 5 in the downtown area, followed by the parade at 5:00 pm More than 55 organizations entered the Holly Days Parade.

The roots of a Galesburg Christmas parade date back to at least 1953. The parade did not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic, but instead, downtown Galesburg held an “inverted parade. Where companies decorated their storefronts.

This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: Galesburg Takes Extra Precautions, In Light Of Waukesha, Wis., Deaths During Parade

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Susan W. Lloyd