After Waukesha tragedy, Hibbing celebrates annual holiday parade with safety in mind
It’s been one day since the Christmas parade tragedy in Waukesha killed 5 people and injured many others. As people are still making sense of that horrific event, Hibbing celebrated their own holiday parade Monday evening.
The city has celebrated the Spirit of Unity parade annually for over two decades now and organizers say that Sunday’s terrible tragedy was even more reason to celebrate theirs safely.
"Our hearts go out to the people there, it’s such an unfortunate, horrible, tragic event," said Shelly Hanson, president of the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce. "Having our parade tonight is just that much more important, so that we can celebrate the joy of family, community, and being there for them and thinking of them at this time."
Other chamber members like Annabelle Versich, echoing the importance of safety precautions for gatherings like these.
"We do a ton of public safety announcements to wear glow sticks, to wear reflective gear, reflective tape. We have police cars at all the blocks just making sure that everyone is safe."
All these measures so students like Kylee Huusko can continue to join in on the parade fun, safely. Huusko, Hibbing High School’s wrestling Cheer Captain saying her favorite part of the yearly parade is like seeing the little kids as they walk by.
"Especially the little girls who look up to the cheerleaders," said Huusko. "They try to do the cheers with us as we’re walking by and I love seeing them do that."
Hanson saying it’s a breath of fresh air to be together with family and friends and enjoy the season with the community.