GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) — On Main Street in Garner Friday night, the main thing on minds of those in the area were the holidays.
People filled downtown for the annual Christmas tree lighting, excited to see the tree light up the sky, enjoy food and music and spend quality time with Santa Claus.
“This is always a very popular event, so we always look forward to a lot of people coming out,” said Interim Garner Police Chief Joe Binns.
The town’s tree lighting comes days after a decision to cancel the town’s parade out of a concern for the public’s safety.
Mary Lawson was still happy with the tree lighting despite the cancellation, she said.
“At first, I was really sad. I’m still disappointed, but not sad,” she said. “I do know they want us to be safe, because anything could happen to anybody, and I don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”
Rachel Tourdot believes while the lighting doesn’t make up for the parade, she understands the decision.
“Tonight’s a safe choice. They’re able to secure this area very well,” Tourdot said. “They made a choice based on the information they had, which we aren’t privy to all of that.”
Tourdot said she is looking forward to sharing holiday cheer with her community and hoping to see the parade come back next year.
“We’re going to make the best of it, and have a good Christmas,” Tourdot said.
Garner police told CBS 17 they had adequate staffing for the tree lighting event.