FAIRWAY, Kan. — Parade of Blue organizers had a bunch of reasons for playing it safe and moving their tribute to a fallen police officer to Saturday night.
Fairway Officer Jonah Oswald was killed in the line of duty this week. The big procession to honor him, which is expected to draw thousands to the streets of Johnson County, is now scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The schedule, events, route and starting spot at 9300 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, all remain the same. The candlelight prayer vigil will begin Saturday night after 9 p.m.
Threats of inclement weather on Friday night were concerning to parade staffers.
“We’ve got folks, law enforcement and others, coming from hours away,” Lenexa Police spokesperson Danny Chavez said.
Chavez is one of dozens of Kansas City-area police officers who’ve helped fill in at Fairway Police Department while those officers grieve this loss.
“We want an opportunity to have the most amount of people to come out — both citizens and residents, but also law enforcement that are traveling a great distance. That’s how we came to that conclusion,” Chavez added.
Businesses along the parade route, which will wind through Overland Park, Mission, Fairway and Prairie Village, have been preparing since Thursday’s announcement.
Some have hung blue ribbons outside their storefronts, including at Fairway Creamery, where Bella Shirazi said Oswald would stop in from time to time and talk with neighbors.
“If it happens tomorrow, it happens tomorrow,” Shirazi said Friday. “ I still know everyone will rally and be there to support that.”
The crowd size might resemble the one we saw in 2020, when Overland Park Officer Mike Mosher received a similar hero’s sendoff. Thousands of people came to pay their last respects during that ceremony, too.
If you want to donate to Oswald’s family fund, you can click here.