RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Safety during Raleigh’s annual parade has been a renewed focus, especially after the tragic death of a young dancer during the 2022 Christmas parade.
City Manager Marchell Adams-David announced Tuesday afternoon, the city will temporarily pause accepting any new parade permit applications.
The pause does not affect the 2023 Raleigh Christmas Parade.
Starting with an apology, Adams-David addressed the city council, explaining the changes for the foreseeable future.
“I’m a firm believer that you own your mistakes when you make them and you create opportunities so that you don’t repeat them continuously,” she said. “We will momentarily pause the acceptance of any new parade permit applications.”
The goal is to take a hard look at the policies and procedures, from the beginning application process, all the way through the day of the event.
“We will also seek out best practices from organizers or as some of the largest, most complex parades across the country as we undertake this work in partnership with the city attorney’s office,” said Adams-David.
The discussion comes nearly one year after 11-year-old Hailey Brooks was killed in the 2022 Christmas Parade.
Other parades went on as normal, with motorized vehicles.
In September, the Christmas Parade organizers were denied a permit to host the 2023 parade. While city officials did reinstate their permit, they banned the use of motorized trucks and floats.
In late October, the organizers of the Veterans’ Day Parade were informed they also couldn’t use any vehicles in their event.
They then decided to cancel the parade.
Adams-David said these changes and the pause are to keep the community safe during festivities.
“We continue to be motivated by our desire to ensure the health, safety and welfare of those that attend or take part in them. We are joined by a growing list of cities across the state that are also making similar steps to make sure that their communities are safe as well,” she said.
Officials said their “ambitious goal” is to have all of the necessary guidelines in place by early 2024, so they can launch the parade season with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.