Raleigh Christmas Parade organizers, businesses plea to City Council: 'Not just us asking'

Sean Coffey Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Parade organizers, businesses plea to City Council to allow vehicles
EMBED <>More Videos

Raleigh City Council members did not take a vote to reinstate floats and vehicles during Tuesday's meeting.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Raleigh Christmas Parade is once again in the spotlight as several parade organizers and participants addressed the city's plan for this year's parade at Tuesday's council meeting.

It comes a month after a back-and-forth between organizers and the city that resulted in a plan for the 2023 event to take place, but without floats or vehicles as the city continues to grapple with the death of Hailey Brooks at last year's parade.

Deborah Daniels' business has participated in the Raleigh Christmas Parade for over 20 years and was one of the speakers to give an emotional plea.

"I just hope you reconsider, because it means a lot of children. This parade, it means so much to so many children," said Daniels.

Deborah's granddaughter can't walk and is non-verbal, and she said a walking-only parade would effectively exclude her from participating.

"She loves the parade, and for other children with disabilities, they won't be able to walk that parade," Daniels said.

"Not just us asking"

Similar concerns were raised over older folks, and their potential inability to participate in a walking parade. Shop Local Raleigh's Jennifer Martin called out the council Tuesday, claiming organizers have exceeded the safety requirements typically set by the city.

"Today I stand before you again saying we have plans that far exceed the plans for the other three parades with floats and vehicles that were permitted and held in Raleigh have had in place," said Martin.

Martin argued the city owed it to physically limited paradegoers, and also the family of Hailey Brooks, to hold a safe parade day anew.

"It's not just us asking, it's the participants and this community, and it's also for Hailey K. Brooks, and all the hundreds of people that were impacted and affected at that 2022 event," said Martin.

Ultimately, council members did not take a vote to reinstate floats and vehicles. With the parade set to take place in a month, it's unclear if the issue will be considered again.

RELATED | Trey Brooks, father of girl killed in Christmas Parade calls out Raleigh mayor, city council