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Zebulon officials announce new changes for this year’s ‘stationary’ Christmas parade

Zebulon residents sitting on a float during the Christmas parade in 2022.
Kaleb Harmon
Zebulon residents sitting on a float during the Christmas parade in 2022.

The town of Zebulon and Zebulon Chamber of Commerce are replacing their annual moving Christmas Parade with a stationary parade in December. This change to the “Deck the Hall-Z” event comes after the death of 11-year-old Hailey Brooks at last year's Raleigh Christmas parade. Brooks was hit and killed by a truck towing a float. Like Zebulon, the city of Raleigh later made a similar decision to hold a parade without motorized vehicles.

The change to Zebulon’s parade also stems from a bill that’s currently pending in the state legislature, named after Hailey Brooks. Kaleb Harmon, a spokesperson for the town of Zebulon, said while planning for the event, officials wanted to make sure they didn’t violate any new restrictions that might pass the North Carolina General Assembly.

“The main thing to note about this is that the bill that's going through the legislature and just kind of sitting there is not the final bill,” he said. “So we don't really have a strong sense of what it’s going to look like and I believe the Raleigh Christmas parade swapped out all the motorized vehicles with horses and other animals that are pulling those sorts of things. Logistically, that is incredibly complex in that short amount of time.”

Parade-goers will be able to walk through the Zebulon parade, and view floats and different displays. There will also be a car show, performances by local schools and organizations, and a Christmas movie showing at the end.

“It's going to be more accessible to different people in the communities whether that's people with different impairments, whether that’s people that might not be able to stand forever to actually see the traditional parade or people that need to take their own time to really experience everything,” Harmon said. “It's going to make sure that you can set your own tone and set your own pace for a parade in a way that really should be accessible to everyone.”

Deck the Hall-Z will be held on the Zebulon Municipal Building and Town Hall Dec. 8.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.
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