SHEBOYGAN, WI (WFRV) – There was a message of healing from organizers and city officials as they stepped off for the Jaycee Holiday parade in downtown Sheboygan.
A tribute banner started the parade procession Sunday evening.
It happened just about the same time the Waukesha community observed a moment of silence in memory of the lives lost and forever changed exactly one week ago when a man drove through the parade route knocking over anything in his path.
The Sheboygan Police Department confirmed earlier in the week that it did a review of safety procedures in light of what happened.
“We want everyone to get into the festive Christmas spirit,” Mayor Ryan Sorensen told Local 5 News. “We’re taking extra safety protocols. We’re excited working with our fire and police departments to make sure everyone can enjoy.”
The mayor sees holding parades as part of the healing process.
“Making sure people know parades are safe and coming out to support your community is key to the healing.”
The mayor says he’s hearing some encouraging news from local shop keepers about “Shop Local Saturday” which happened just one day before the parade.
“Some of the business owners I talked with say it was their best season ever coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Many folks braved the bitter cold and stepped away from the Packers game to line the parade route.
All had a ready “Merry Christmas” for all who passed by including the fire department’s honor guard.
Local bands banged out some holiday classics and everyone was dressed head to toe in something green and red including a canine unit that proved to be a real crowd-pleaser.
Sheboygan’s holiday parade is somewhat unique in that string cheese is also handed out along with candy.
Sheboygan Jaycees Parade Coordinator Danielle Brooks announced the following float contest winners: Corporate Category: 1st – Freak Toyz, 2nd – Van Horn Group, 3rd – JJ Trucking.
Non-profit Category: 1st – Sheboygan Lakers Figure Skating Club, 2nd – Making Spirits Bright, 3rd – Sheboygan County Dog Training Club.