'This is Waukesha': Sunday marks 59th annual Christmas parade, large turnout expected
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Here's what you need to know about the upcoming Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 4.
The parade starts at 4 p.m. and will most likely go until around 6 p.m.
Extra safety precautions are being taken, including a new route which can be found here, an increased police presence, drones watching from the sky, and motor vehicle barriers designed to protect crowds from traffic will also block off roads.
According to the city of Waukesha, "streets around the library will be closed beginning at 2:00 p.m. Additional roads will be closed starting at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. After 3:15 p.m., no traffic will be able to enter or exit the parade perimeter until the conclusion of the parade which is expected to be around 6pm."
This year's theme is "Peace on Earth" -- a message organizers are attempting to spread following last year's tragedy.
One of the first floats in the parade will feature six snowflakes, one for each of the lives lost when Darrell Brooks drove through the route.
"We wanted to remember the victims, survivors, the families, the first responders, there were so many people affected last year," said Waukesha parade organizer Janelle Andrews. "We wanted to make sure they have a place in the parade this year."
According to Andrews, a large turnout is expected with over 80 groups expected to participate and people coming in from outside the state to show their support.
"We have the most participants and performers ever. We have the most number of volunteers, the most number of business sponsors," Andrews said.
Down Main St. in Waukesha, a handful of businesses have signs and posters reading #WaukeshaStrong.
One of those stores is The Joke Shop, owned by Jon Archimedes, who witnessed the horrific events in Nov. 2021.
"For us it's just been, you know, trying to get back to normal," Archimedes said. "This is Waukesha. It's a safe place. Stuff like that doesn’t happen all the time so it’s just getting back to our normal again."
Per tradition, Santa and Mrs. Claus will close out the parade.
CBS 58 will be covering the event live during the 5:30 newscast on WMLW The M.