SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Both Rapid City and Sioux Falls have their own holiday parades coming up this week with the Festival of Lights and Parade of Lights.
Police expect the only siren they hear at this year’s parade of lights will come from the vehicles in the parade.
The Sioux Falls Police Department has an events team, officers who specialize in keeping people safe during large gatherings like the parade of lights.
Lt Andrew Siebenborn is in charge of that unit and says he won’t reveal any specific security plans about this year’s parade.
“That’s something we keep close to our vest, over the last several years, the world has changed and you’ve got to make sure these events are safe,” said Siebenborn.
Lt. Siebenborn says they have looked at other incidents around the world and they will look at what happened in Wisconsin.
“You want to learn from things that were done well and you want to learn from things that maybe weren’t done so well,” said Siebenborn.
As in Wisconsin, Lt. Siebenborn is well aware that someone could use a vehicle as a weapon and there are ways to mitigate the chances of that happening.
Downtown Sioux Falls, which organizes the parade, says they are expecting a big turnout on Friday.
“We hope that attendees come out for the Parade of Lights to really kick off the holiday season and it is a great tradition for the city of Sioux Falls and our community and again DTST does everything in its power to make sure that our attendees are safe and to ensure their well being,” DTSF Community Outreach Manager Sadie Swier said.
Even the police are glad to have the event back, especially after it was canceled at the last minute last year because of the pandemic.
“We hope the event in Wisconsin doesn’t dissuade anyone from coming down and enjoying it with their family we’d love to see you down there,” said Siebenborn.
Lt. Siebenborn says he is pleased with the manpower the city is willing to commit to events like the parade.
He says they would rather be overstaffed than not have enough people.
KELOLAND News will be live streaming the Sioux Falls Parade of Lights on Friday starting at 7:30 p.m. You can watch the parade on KELOLAND.com.