RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Businesses and non-profits participating in the Raleigh Christmas Parade are gearing up for the annual holiday event.
This year, there are major changes after an out-of-control truck hit and killed 11-year-old Hailey Brooks in the parade last November.
Motor vehicles are not allowed in this weekend’s parade.
Parade organizers with the Greater Raleigh Merchant Association and Shop Local Raleigh also want people to honor Hailey Brooks by wearing teal, her favorite color.
Shop Local Raleigh executive director, Jennifer Martin released this statement:
“While many of us are still grieving, we also know that giving back to this community, coming together and creating change, is just one way we honor those gone before us. Hailey Brooks, favorite color was teal. One way we want to honor her life is by wearing something teal at this year’s Raleigh Christmas Parade and we are inviting all of you to join along in wearing something teal. With this, we also ask that each one of us commit to doing something selflessly for someone else this holiday season. May we honor, may we pay it forward and may we all #shinelikehailey.”
Tara Needham and her mini horses have marched for more than a decade. She hopes to bring smiles to the crowd through her non-profit, Stampede of Love. She, along with her other handlers, plan to wear teal hats.
“I think it’s the best way to heal the community. They still need to come out. We still need to have a good time. It’s for the children,” Needham said.
Business owner Luna Nickerson is busy making teal bows.
At her parade-side booth, Nickerson said she wants to give back a portion of profits to The Shine Like Hailey Foundation, created by the Brooks family.
“You have all these communities coming together. And I really hope that, like, it’s healing for them,” Nickerson said. “I hope that all the kids who were there like get to come back and like make it a better memory.”