Government

Police will provide safety at Joliet holiday parade

Light Up the Holidays parade starts at 5:30 p.m downtown

About 40 police officers will work the Light Up the Holidays parade in Joliet on Friday.

Joliet police typically have a strong presence at the annual parade for the sake of crowd and traffic control. And the parade goes off every year without incident.

But parade-goers may have safety on their minds after the bizarre and tragic occurrence in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday in which a driver plowed into a holiday parade.

“The Joliet Police Department has measures in place to ensure the safety of parade attendees and participants,” police spokesman Dwayne English said in an email.

In addition to the approximately 40 officers assigned to the parade, metal bike fencing will be in place to secure the parade route, English said. Joliet police and Will County Sheriff’s Office auxiliary personnel will be stationed along the parade route and all streets that bisect the trade route, he said.

The city of Joliet earlier this week announced downtown road closures for the Chicago Street parade, which starts at 5:30 p.m. after the lighting of the city Christmas tree in Van Buren Plaza at 5:15 p.m.

The parade is the culmination of the daylong Light Up the Holidays Festival & Parade in which downtown venues and businesses offer a variety of holiday entertainment and activity.

The event is organized by the Joliet City Center Partnership, which provides a schedule of activities on its website, jolietccp.com.

“We definitely have the Joliet police there not only directing traffic but keeping everyone safe,” said Priscilla Cordero, executive director of the City Center Partnership.