Wake Forest community comes together to host event after parade canceled

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — Although the Wake Forest Christmas parade put on by the town is no longer taking place, that doesn’t mean the festivities are canceled.

The town canceled the parade after large groups of people planned to protest over a Confederacy float being in it, according to a Wake Forest spokesperson. The float had been in the parade for decades.

Community members quickly turned their grief over the cancellation into inspiration.

Wesley Spottiswood is one of them.

He posted on social media he and his friends would still gather on the day the parade was scheduled to sing.

“When I posted it on Facebook saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to be doing this,’ within an hour or two I had over 50 likes and a bunch of comments,” said Spottiswood.

Joshua Donahue also posted about organizing an event in lieu of the parade.
The two then joined forces.

“We kind of just combined it all into one thing and now it’s just taken on a life of its own. It’s been pretty impressive to see,” said Donahue.

They got a permit for the event and said the town even waived the fees.
The organizers said the town also agreed to provide some officers to monitor the event.

Hundreds of people have RSVP’d.

The plan is to meet at the Christmas tree in front of town hall Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. — when the parade was going to be.

Children are invited to wear costumes and join in on the festivities.

“Rain or shine, we’ll be passing out song sheets for everyone to sing,” said Spottiswood.

Once they finish, they’re going to visit the neighboring businesses downtown.

“I’m sure they bank on that weekend being something to help them and I actually hope it may end up being better than expected,” said Donahue.

The men say the support they’ve received shows what Wake Forest is all about.

“What was going to be a very small event, the awesome community that’s Wake Forest grew this into this awesome time of coming together and remembering what Christmas is all about,” said Spottiswood.

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