A Holiday Gem: Waukesha Christmas Parade 2023 theme celebrates 60th anniversary, honors parade victims

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Posted at 3:01 PM, Oct 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-12 16:01:26-04

From the music to the crowd and Santa Claus sightings, Waukesha's Christmas Parade brings people together.

This year the parade will mark its 60th anniversary. The theme is "A Holiday Gem."

"The gem is the correlation between the 60th-anniversary parade and then we chose to have six in remembrance of the parade victims," Kim Krueger, president of the City of Waukesha's Chamber of Commerce said.

Organizers are working through how they will honor the parade victims in a thoughtful way that can continue for many years.

"It's definitely around a walk of remembrance with you know, some type of a lighting feature whether it's lanterns and individuals carrying those lanterns for the six impacted. We have a banner that will have on it six different colored gems," Dan Gell, CEO of Ascension Wisconsin which is the parade's main sponsor.

"It's a soft remembrance, and just having the lanterns just kind of lighting the way through the parade we feel is enough to encompass the entire community and help everybody still remember and still have a great parade," Chamber of Commerce administrator AJ Simms said.

Planning began six months ago.

This year the route will be a little shorter starting a Barstow near the state office building, traveling down Main Street then ending at Cutler Park.

This is the second year that Ascension Wisconsin is the parade's main sponsor.

"With all the events that took place in the previous year, I think it's important to bring a sense of solace," Gell said.

Organizers are currently taking float registrations and sponsorships.

Volunteer opportunities will be open soon.

The parade is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3.