As residents of a small Nova Scotia town mourn a little girl who was run over by a float in the annual Christmas parade, questions are being raised about safety measures along the parade route.

MaCali Cormier, four, died Saturday night as the annual Christmas Parade of Lights in Yarmouth, N.S., was drawing to a close around 7 p.m.

“She was a very, very great kid. So full of love and life,” Devan Boudreau, a family friend who had known MaCali since her birth, said Monday.

She was remembered as a child who had a passion for learning and “loved helping other people.”

Her obituary, posted Monday on the H.M. Huskilson’s funeral home website, said Cormier was a pre-primary student at Yarmouth Central School and “couldn’t wait” to go to the new school that is being built across the street.

“MaCali will be remembered as an awesome big sister to Tessa and Matthew Cormier,” read the obituary. “Most of all, MaCali will be remembered as a little girl who loved helping other people.”

She also enjoyed swimming, camping, horseback riding, dancing and watching YouTube videos, the obituary said.

A witness to the tragedy, local resident Vance Webb, said when he arrived to watch the parade with his stepson and three grandsons, he and his wife noticed there were vehicles parked on both sides of Main Street — the same street used for the parade.

“They were parked all along the parade route, bumper-to-bumper,” he said in an interview. “It created hundreds of spots where kids were running in and out. It reduced the road size. Of course, kids want to see the parade, so there’s a tendency for them to poke out from behind the cars.”

Webb, a former machinist and volunteer firefighter who moved to Yarmouth 14 years ago, said he had never seen vehicles lining both sides of the street during previous parades.

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