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Brooks Family and Local Business Owners Respond to the Cancellation of Raleigh Christmas Parade 2023


Sep 16, 2023

Raleigh Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin has announced that there will be no Christmas parade in the city in 2023. The decision comes in response to the tragic death of Haley Brooks during the 2022 parade. Brooks, who was dancing with the CC & Company Dance Complex, was hit and killed by an out-of-control pickup truck. The city made the decision out of respect for Brooks’ family and friends, as well as concern for the safety of parade participants and spectators. This year’s parade, which would have been the 79th in the city’s history, was scheduled for November 18th.

The Brooks family’s attorneys expressed their disappointment with the decision to cancel the parade, stating that the city did not consult with them or take adequate safety precautions. They believe that basic safety procedures should have been in place in 2022 to prevent such a tragedy. However, the city stated that the risk of a similar incident outweighed any other considerations at this time.

Despite the cancellation of the Christmas parade, the city of Raleigh plans to offer a variety of other events and activities to celebrate the holiday season. Deputy City Manager Evan Raleigh assured the public that there are still many great opportunities for people to come and enjoy downtown during this festive time.

The Greater Raleigh Association of Commerce expressed their deep disappointment in the decision, emphasizing the importance of the Christmas parade for local young people and the community as a whole. They had been working tirelessly to plan a parade that would bring the community together and provide a safe environment for everyone. They are eager to continue this tradition as soon as the city allows them to do so.

Mayor Baldwin defended the decision to cancel the parade, citing pending lawsuits and legislation, as well as the need to prioritize the community’s safety. She expressed the city’s commitment to working with partners to ensure that appropriate safety rules and precautions are in place for future parades.

The cancellation of the Christmas parade has received mixed reactions from business owners in downtown Raleigh. While some understand the city’s decision, others believe that it sends a negative signal and takes away from the energy and momentum that downtown desperately needs. Local retailers, like Munjo Munjo, rely on events like the parade to attract tourists and boost their business.

The history of the Raleigh Christmas Parade dates back to 1939, when it was first held after the Great Depression. It temporarily ceased during World War II but was revived in 1945, marking a new era of prosperity. Throughout the years, it has become a beloved family tradition for many North Carolinians.

Overall, the cancellation of the Raleigh Christmas Parade in 2023 has caused disappointment and debate among community members, with some emphasizing the need for safety precautions and others highlighting the importance of the parade for the city’s spirit and economy.

By Editor

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