‘Stroll on State’ closing additional roads in bid to increase security following Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford’s will close additional roads in an effort to strengthen security for the “Stroll on State” event this weekend, a move that comes after a driver ran over multiple participants in a Christmas parade in Waukesha on Sunday.

Officials say safety and security has always been at the forefront of planning for the festival, which takes place annually in downtown Rockford on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

After a driver killed 5 people and injured 43 more during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Rockford’s Stroll on State organizers say they’re boosting their security protocols this year.

“Stroll on State has been doing a marvelous job now, nearly for a decade. I would say our team has been preparing, just so every resident understands, we’ve been preparing for these kinds of worse case scenarios now for a decade,” said Mayor Tom McNamara. “We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t’ had to utilize our plans for them.”

Chestnut Street, west of the Rock River, and Walnut Street, east of the Rock River, will be closed to traffic between 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 27th.

An emergency lane will be put in place on E. and W. State Street between Church Street and 2nd Street.

Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau president John Groh said additional layers of security are being put in place this year.

“There will be protocols in place that people will see. They’ll see officers on the street and there’s going to be things that they don’t see, that are just there to protect the crowd and give assurances that everything has been done, that we can reasonably do, to keep guests safe,” Groh said.

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