HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Christmas parades are lighting up the Rio Grande Valley this weekend and into next week–following on the sides of floats can be seen the flashing lights of police cars.

“There will be barricades throughout the main route and of course there’s going to be officers and usually they’re positioned in every corner,” said Martin Sandoval, public information officer of the Brownsville Police Department.

Sandoval said in Brownsville they plan ahead knowing that the increase in people gathering means more eyes are needed to watch over crowds.

“At the Brownsville police, we start hiring officers that don’t work that day, and we’ll have at least 30 officers that will work the parade,” said Sandoval.

At the Mercedes Christmas parade on Friday evening, father and husband Dusty Rangel said it was his family’s first time out to a live event in a long time.

“This is our first time actually coming to another live event, her seeing it and reacting to it is the best part about it,” Rangel said while holding his baby daughter.

Rangel said his daughter’s safety takes priority when they go out in public.

“Just really being after them, because anything could happen at any second,” said Rangel.

The increase of police presence at the parade makes Rangel and his family feel safe.

“They actually do just making sure the police are surrounding the areas they need to, and making sure everything is looked after properly,” said Rangel.