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Joint Christmas parade to focus on safety

Second annual Walnut Ridge/Hoxie parade to take extra precautions in 2021
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 7:56 PM CST
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WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - In light of the tragedy in Wisconsin, the Walnut Ridge/Hoxie joint Christmas parade will focus on the safety of the community.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said incidents like that can happen anywhere, so it’s important to always be prepared.

“When you see that on the news, you know whether accidental or intentional, those types of things can happen anywhere,” Snapp said. “We’ve got an exceptional amount of potential protection I guess you would say, considering the size of the two communities. Far more than most would have in that case.”

According to Snapp, the Walnut Ridge and Hoxie police and fire departments will have a large presence, as well as the Lawrence County Sheriff’s office.

Additionally, spectator cars will be used to block entrances to the parade route along Highway 67.

Snapp added the railroad on the East side of the route provides an extra layer of protection for parade-goers.

The joint parade is set to start at 6 P.M. on Tuesday, December 7th. It is the second joint parade between the two towns, with the first taking place in 2019.

Last year, the event was altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the joint parade, Walnut Ridge hosted a “reverse parade” in Stewart Park.

Citizens drove by floats and lights in the park instead of watching them drive by on the street.

Snapp said he is excited for the traditional parade to return.

“A substitute beats nothing, but there’s nothing like the real deal,” he said.

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