By Beth Germano

ANDOVER (CBS) – Heavy equipment from the Andover DPW lot may not seem like a festive addition to the Santa parade that will take place down Main Street on Sunday. But it’s been the protocol for large scale events for a few years.

“The first year people were surprised at the level of security for something as basic as a local parade, but the community has come to appreciate the effort,” said Andrew Flanagan, Andover Town Manager.

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The tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin, when an SUV plowed through wooden barricades into a Christmas parade crowd, brought home a sad reality for any local government. “Those people woke up yesterday morning never expecting the day would end the way it did. That’s how we approach these large scale events,” said Flanagan.

The trucks block intersecting streets, there will also be increased police presence and security cameras. It’s all part of the planning since the marathon bombing and overseas terror attacks.

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“It seems like maybe we go too far at times, but something like Wisconsin solidifies that we make sure we’re doing the right thing,” said Andover police Lt. Edward Guy.

On Thanksgiving Day itself, Andover will also host a road race that’s a 34-year tradition. It attracts as many as 10,000 runners, and also requires a security plan.

The events go right by Stephanie Sipley’s Main Street clothing store Soleamour and she welcomes the security presence. “I think you look at these things and say they won’t happen in your own neighborhood, but it did,” said Sipley.

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The holiday decorations are going up throughout the town, as officials now double check the security that will accompany them.

Beth Germano