GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) — The Garner Christmas parade drew hundreds of smiling faces to Main Street Saturday evening, some of them coming to the parades for decades.
“Since about ’94 when we moved here,” Mary Hause said.
Hause brought children that she nannies to the parade this year, but says she remembers when it was her own young kids dancing through the street, even years ago when the route went over train tracks.
“I had three girls are in the parade one year when a train came through and split it up,” she said.
With the route now only straight down Main Street, organizers can keep a closer eye on safety, something they increased this year after an 11-year-old girl was killed in the Raleigh parade last month when she was hit by a truck towing a float.
“We did registration checks, we did driver checks, one vehicle that wasn’t supposed to be in there showed up and we told them, ‘you can’t be here,’ so we did a lot of different things, increase buffer sizes between vehicles and groups and things like that,” said Demian Dellinger, one organizer of the parade.
Organizers say safety overall is nothing new to them, but after the tragedy in Raleigh, they wanted to make sure every parade performer and watcher made it home safely.
“We had always been really safety focused and worked really well with the Garner Police Department to cover all of our bases, candy throwing, and road closures and all that kind of stuff, and so this was just one more thing that kind of instantly opened our eyes,” Dellinger said.