Saturday, April 24, 2021

Oak Creek showdown: Parade committee vs. Common Council over Fourth of July parade


The Fourth of July parade is a tradition in Oak Creek, but the committee that puts it on recommended it be canceled again, and some city leaders are pushing back.

COVID-19 canceled last year's parade, and many were hoping it would return this year.

"I think the community is anticipating it, looking forward and expecting it," Oak Creek Alderman Ken Gehl said.

"It is the recommendation of the Celebrations Commission that we not move forward again with the actual parade this year," Oak Creek Celebrations Commission Chair Carolyn Bukiewicz told the Common Council earlier this week.

Aldermen who pushed for the parade's return offered to start their own committee and asked the current group to hand over the work it had already completed.

"Would you, over the course of several days, be willing to start jotting down some of these things that need to be done, so we can put on a decent parade?" Alderman Steven Kurkowski asked.

"Probably not, because you've already discredited me and our decision about having this parade, so I probably wouldn't," Bukiewicz said.

"Wow. That's too bad," Kurkowski said.

That showdown, between the council and the committee chair left Oak Creek's mayor in a tough spot -- and not just over how to safely pull off a parade.

Mayor Daniel Bukiewicz said his wife, Carolyn, had volunteered as leader of that celebrations commission for years but not anymore.

"Quite frankly, she submitted her resignation," Mayor Daniel Bukiewicz said.

Now a new ad hoc committee will try to rebuild a parade in limited time.

"I don't think it will be the parade that people have become accustomed to. But in some fashion, it may suffice for what the people were asking for," Mayor Daniel Bukiewicz said.

Some council members suggested a longer parade route to spread people out, no throwing candy, no cookout or gathering afterward.

But one thing, that even the original committee agreed on, is that the fireworks show that is part of Oak Creek's Fourth of July celebration, should go on as planned.

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