Holiday DeLight Parade organizers ensure everyone is safe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Holiday DeLight Parade organizers ensure everyone is safe

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Hundreds of people gathered in Cedar Rapids tonight to enjoy a holiday parade. The Holiday DeLight Parade has been going on for 34 years in the downtown district and is put on by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

"Oh it's so fun to see all the families come together and enjoy the lights and see Santa at the end and just have a great time," said Melissa McCarville, Economic Alliance Communications Manager. "That's really what our number one hope is, is to bring people together, bring the community together so everyone can enjoy this event."

Organizers say more than 7,000 people attend the parade every year. With that many people and dozens of floats safety is everyone's biggest concern.  After a young boy was hurt last year extra precautions were taken this season.

"Make sure that you are sitting back far enough so that you can still enjoy the parade," said McCarville. "Make sure you stay on the sidewalks and please make sure to listen to our community volunteers that are there for crowd control and to help keep everyone safe."

During last years Holiday DeLight Parade crews were called to 2nd and 3rd Avenue Southeast after a young boy was hit by piece of a float. KWWL talked to his step-mother after it happened.

"They did say a pole had hit him, but I actually grabbed a piece of the actual door," said Melissa Valentine, Jackson Vorba's step-mother. "It wasn't quite the  pole, that's why he got the big gash he did because the corner of the door is what hit his head."

Organizers say young Jackson Vorba has been the only person reportedly injured in the last three decades.

"34 years of a Holiday DeLight Parade and only just that one," said McCarville.

Organizers changed the route and added more volunteers this year to ensure everyone continues to stay safe during this very important celebration.

"The Holiday DeLight Parade is incredibly important to our community," said McCarville.

Organizers say people on the floats are not allowed to throw anything at parade goers. If they have candy they must hand it to people in the streets, a precaution they've taken for years to ensure everyone's safety.

The parade started at 5:30 p.m. and ended about an hour later with Santa Claus. If you missed this season, don't worry because organizers will start planning soon for next year's parade.

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