WAUKESHA Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Organizers have been hard at work for months planning this year’s Waukesha Christmas Parade.

“We’ve had the largest number of participants sign up this year.”

Coordinator Janelle Andrews with the city of Waukesha Chamber of Commerce says it will also be emotional. The parade’s theme this year is ‘peace on earth.’

Andrews hopes it honors the 6 people killed and dozens of others hurt during last year’s parade while also helping the city heal.

“As soon as the memorial float goes past and the Grand Marshal, we have the Dancing Grannies. I know a lot of people are looking forward to seeing them.”

The parade will start and end at Cutler Park in a shorter, mile-long route. The city of Waukesha will also use these 800-thousand-dollar traffic barricades to stop vehicles from entering the parade.

“We are doing everything we can to make this safe. I’m not going to be apprehensive to be walking in the parade.”

Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly and other city leaders say an increased police presence, surrounding road closures, and parking restrictions, can help ease fears. He acknowledges some people still aren’t comfortable coming back.

“It’s extremely important for a community to come together and celebrate. If we didn’t have celebrations, if we decided we were no longer going to have gatherings, that would be letting evil win. We’re not going to let that happen.”

In terms of spectators, the Chamber of Commerce says this could be the biggest parade Waukesha has ever hosted. For Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson, that will show a sign of unity and strength for a community that’s been through so much.

“Us celebrating together for the Christmas Parade Dec. 4th, that’s a great step in moving forward.”