One of the biggest events for the holiday season in the Sioux Empire is this Friday night. The annual "Parade of Lights" in downtown Sioux Falls.

Officials with Downtown Sioux Falls say there's a chance attendance at this year's Parade of Lights could be bigger than ever, due to last year's parade being canceled as a result of the pandemic.

Given the events that happened in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday (November 21)  attending this year's Parade of Lights brings along additional concerns that go far beyond that of COVID-19 for some people.

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A number of residents here in the Sioux Empire are wondering what security measures will be in place during this year's parade?

DTSF Community Outreach Coordinator Sadie Swier told Dakota News Now, “What happened in Waukesha is a sad and tragic event and the worst-case scenario for any public community event that’s happening, but, as we’re planning for the Parade of Lights, happening this week, it’s part of our conversations."

DTSF is now and always has worked closely with the law enforcement community in Sioux Falls in an effort to keep residents safe during all downtown events like the Parade of Lights. Ensuring the public's safety is one of their top priorities according to Swier.

So what safety measures are planned?

Luetenient Andrew Siebenborn, with the Sioux Falls Police Department, told Dakota News Now, "Barricades and officers will be placed throughout Friday night's parade route."

According to Siebenborn, the individuals that work our city events are very experienced. This group of people has done these types of events over and over, which is a real benefit for every spectator attending.

Both the folks with DTSF and the Sioux Falls law enforcement community hope the tragedy that occurred on Sunday in Waukesha won't deter residents here in the Sioux Empire from coming out on Friday night to enjoy the festivities and have a good time.

The 29th Annual Parade of Lights officially kicks off at 7:30 PM this Friday. This year's theme is "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

The 2021 parade route runs north along Phillips Avenue from 13th Street to 5th Street. Several streets throughout the downtown Sioux Falls area will be closed that evening to accommodate the parade.

Source: Dakota News Now

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