North Carolina City Refuses To Grant Permit For Yearly Christmas Parade
We may have seen the last of the Raleigh Christmas Parade. The North Carolina capital city has denied permits for the 2023 Christmas parade. This comes after a 10-year-old girl was tragically killed at last year’s parade. Back in August the parade’s organizer the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association announced the date for the 2023 parade in a press release posted on its website. The would have been the parade’s 79th year. It’s one I actually attended back when I lived in Raleigh so I will certainly be sad to see it go. The press release stated that the Raleigh Christmas Parade (which was planned for November 18th) is the largest parade between Atlanta and Washington D.C. Over 65,000 people gather yearly to watch it in person, while an additional 250,000 thousand tune in to watch from home.
Local Raleigh news station WRAL first reported the parade’s cancelation earlier today. They report that “the city of Raleigh said Thursday it would not grant a special event permit application for the 2023 Raleigh Christmas Parade.” According to them, the city is working on other ideas for Christmas events. Typically in years past, there has been a downtown ice skating rink (though it has been several years since I have lived there, and can’t confirm if this is still a yearly occurrence). I know that countless families who have made the parade a tradition will miss attending. But I also completely understand the reasoning behind this decision.
It will be interesting to see what ideas the city of Raleigh comes up with to take the place of the Christmas parade. Perhaps a tree lighting which is something many towns and cities in North Carolina do yearly. Complete with Santa, activities, train rides, and more. This may not completely be the end of the Raleigh Christmas Parade, there are lawsuits pending stemming from the incident last year. Once those are resolved the door is still open for a possible return. But if not, a new traditional can be born and it has the potential to be just as beloved. Read more from WRAL here.