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Glendale may go without Fourth of July parade

No volunteers, no parade, Mayor says

Members of the North Shore Fire Department hand out flags to Fourth of July parade goers along Milwaukee River Parkway during Glendale's 2012 celebration. <br />

Members of the North Shore Fire Department hand out flags to Fourth of July parade goers along Milwaukee River Parkway during Glendale's 2012 celebration.
Photo By Pat A. Robinson

Jan. 30, 2013

Glendale - The city needs help getting its Fourth of July parade off the ground.

At a Common Council meeting Monday, Mayor Jerry Tepper emphasized the need for Glendale residents to fundraise for and organize the city's Fourth of July parade, which won't happen otherwise.

"It's not a small job, but it's something that has a lot of value," Tepper said. "It brings together a lot of people."

The city spent $11,000 on fireworks and $4,000 on its parade last year, down from the normal parade budget of between $6,000 and $7,000. The 2013 city budget sets aside $12,000 for fireworks, but doesn't include any funding for a parade.

Tepper, who led organizing and fundraising efforts last year, said 90 percent of the work happens prior to the parade. The city cannot spare staff for the effort.

"We need more participation," Tepper said. "We need more help. We can't rely on city employees to do all of it. It's just not reasonable."

City Administrator Richard Maslowski concurred, writing in a memo to the council that, "city staff is not equipped, nor do we have the time, to plan and implement a 4th of July festival."

When asked by Alderman Elliot Moeser whether the city should divert some of its fireworks funding toward a parade, Tepper and Maslowski said the fireworks show takes priority since it has a larger following, drawing on average between 4,000 and 5,000 people. The parade draws about 1,000 people - 1,500 with good weather.

Time is of the essence, since the city needs to approve a capital budget in March, before which the Common Council will revisit and decide the parade issue at its Feb. 11 meeting.

"It's getting a little late to get the participation for the parade," Tepper said. "If we can get someone to spearhead this, I would be happy to give what assistance I could."

In the meantime, Tepper and Alderwoman JoAnn Shaw will canvass the community for volunteers.

"I would like an opportunity to get back on their case," Shaw said, referring to several Glendale residents who expressed interest in volunteering, but have since quieted.

Those interested in volunteering can call Mayor Tepper at (414) 351-5000 or Alderwoman Shaw at (414) 228-8444.

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