Wausau Pilot & Review

Wausau Events staff is working with police, fire and city officials to ensure safety at the city’s upcoming holiday parade, after five people were killed and dozens injured in Waukesha just days ago.

The city’s annual parade is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 and runs from Marathon Park to The 400 Block in downtown Wausau. More than 100 floats typically join in the parade, which has been a holiday tradition for decades.

In a Facebook post, Wausau Events officials say they are devastated by the tragedy in Waukesha, when 39-year-old Darrell E. Brooks Jr. allegedly drove his SUV intentionally into a crowd of dancers, marching band students, onlookers and others, many of whom remain hospitalized as of Tuesday. Brooks is facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with Sunday’s horrific event. Additional charges are likely.

“Our hearts are with the entire Waukesha community,” event officials wrote in a Facebook post. “As many of you know, our own Holiday Parade is right around the corner. We’ve been excitedly planning an evening of festive cheer and community togetherness. No doubt, that planning feels different now. However, in that light, we feel it’s more important than ever to come together.”

Wausau Events is working closely with the Wausau Police Department, Wausau Fire Department, City of Wausau and Department of Public Works to ensure public safety at Wausau’s event.

“This includes revisiting our safety plan and updating our event protocols, along with conducting a vulnerabilities assessment for the event,” the post reads. “We feel confident in the coordination between our city departments and are thankful for their cooperation.”

Wausau Events will hold a vigil on The 400 Block immediately following the Dec. 3 parade. Additional details will be released soon.

“Our hearts and thoughts will remain with Waukesha and anyone impacted by this tragedy,” Wausau Events stated.”