The annual Christmas parade in Hampden will go on as planned Sunday after briefly being at risk of cancellation due to lack of security.
“The parade is on!” City Councilwoman Odette Ramos, whose District 14 includes Hampden, said Thursday afternoon. “It will be a great event, and I look forward to participating!”
Baltimore City and organizers of the annual Christmas parade have been in talks since last week to make sure the event can go on as scheduled.
“We have been working with local and state agencies to ensure that the parade will be sufficiently staffed and that paradegoers will be able to have a safe and enjoyable time at this long-standing Baltimore tradition,” city spokesperson Monica Lewis also said Thursday afternoon.
Members of the Baltimore Police Department, the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works and Baltimore City Public Schools will be present, in addition to the mayor and members of his administration, Lewis said.
The number of police officers in attendance cannot be shared for security reasons, she said.
Talks between the city and organizers started Nov. 21 after the Department of Transportation told organizers to reschedule the Dec. 4 parade because there weren’t enough police officers to cover it alongside a Ravens game.
The short notice frustrated parade organizers, who said picking a new date was not an option and canceling would be costly because everything was already in place, parade chairman Tom Kerr said at the time.
“Here we’re getting something good in Baltimore, for Pete’s sake, and they hit us with this,” he had said. “We were trying to do something nice, and they kick us in the back.”
City officials then promised they would work on finding enough security for the parade after Kerr contacted Ramos to help work out a solution. The event costs $47,000 to $50,000 to execute, a budget that includes a few thousand dollars set aside to pay the city for a police detail of about 20 officers, Kerr said.
The Christmas parade, which organizers said is the biggest in Maryland, has been put on through the streets of Hampden on the first Sunday in December since 1973.
Past parades have brought tens of thousands of spectators, including residents from other parts of Baltimore and the surrounding counties, Kerr said.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Falls Road and West Cold Spring Lane. The parade route continues south on Falls Road to West 36th Street, before heading east to Chestnut Avenue and then north to end at West 37th Street. Santa is supposed to make an appearance, along with the winning Ms. Yuletide and the three Jr. Ms. Yuletide awardees.