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Glendale parade will go on

Enough volunteers come forward to fundraise, organize Fourth of July festivities

Feb. 12, 2013

Glendale - Although doubts were cast a month ago, Glendale's Fourth of July parade is set to move forward this year with a group of resident volunteers committed to planning the venerable event.

While the city's 2013 budget included $12,000 for a fireworks show amid Independence Day festivities this year, no money has been earmarked for a parade, which in years past cost between $6,000 and $7,000.

The decision not to fund the parade, made late last year by the Common Council during budget deliberations, was a deviation from past years where city funding had been allocated toward fireworks and a parade. Budget constraints were cited as a reason for the decision.

Barring outside resources - in terms of planning and financial contributions - Mayor Jerry Tepper and City Administrator Richard Maslowski last month said a parade would not take place this year.

"City staff is not equipped, or do we have the time, to plan and implement a Fourth of July festival," Maslowski wrote in a memo.

Since then, Tepper and Alderwoman JoAnn Shaw sought volunteers and reported at a council meeting Monday that there were a sufficient number to move forward with a planned parade. For her part, Shaw said she sent an email blast out to constituents in her district.

"I ran into a number of people who expressed concern about the parade not taking place," Tepper said. "They wanted it to take place, and it looks like it will be taking place."

With snow on the ground and cold temperatures chilling the air, Independence Day may seem far off, but city officials have repeatedly stated all of the moving pieces need to be in place imminently for a parade to be part of this year's roster because of the planning involved.

Tepper and Shaw will begin forming a committee that will be charged with planning festivities. The committee is expected to hold its first meeting in the next several weeks.

"We don't need 100 people on this committee, but we do need the people who've volunteered," Tepper said.

In addition to funding the parade itself, the committee will be charged with planning and funding other aspects of Independence Day festivities, including renting Kletzsch Park at a cost of $1,500. While the green space is within Glendale's municipal boundaries, it is a Milwaukee County park.

Other associated rental costs include $550 toward portable restrooms and $1,800 toward a tent.

Last month, Tepper and Maslowski said funding the fireworks display should take precedence over the parade, pointing to past attendance figures. The fireworks display generally draws between 4,000 and 5,000 people, while the parade averages about 1,000 to 1,500 people.

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