John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
Unlike our Independence Day celebrations in our local parks, the small town celebrations centers on the local people. On the streets that the parade is on, people mark off squares with chalk, so that they can have a pool with the winner holding the square that the horse leaves its droppings on. Almost every unit in a hundred unit parade, thows out candy for the children to keep and eat. There are many bands in the parade. Marching units that normally would be unavailable due to time conflicts, are here because the parade is held on another day than the 4th of July. At least two Kiltie Bands were in the parade. One circus band unit was there. Some bands rode on trucks or trailers and made their music. One Polka Band was there. The local high school band was there in force. The Lions Club was the organization responsible for the planning and organization of this parade. Some of the units of the Tripoli Shrine Lodge made their presence. Local politicians were there in force. There were several horses and their riders. The 4-H Clubs had some representatives there also. The fire and rescue units of several nearby towns and villages were seen. Some of the units squirted water on the parade watchers. The Lions Club had several comedy units and clowns in the parade. There were two antique fire engines, several classic and antique cars, rebuilt John Deere tractors and a few antique tractors to view. This was like watching a parade from the past. All of the enthusiasm of the crowd also reflected this. Maybe we take too much for granted when we celebrate Independence Day. It takes a lot of hard work by a few people to produce such a great event in a small town. Someday, take the time to visit a far away location, and watch how they celebrate the 4th of July. Their bands seem to be larger that some of the bands we see in our City of Milwaukee parades. It takes people both to produce and to watch a parade. Maybe you can volunteer to promote one of our 4th of July groups.