Rain plays the role of Grinch

Weather forces organizers of Port Christmas festivities to cancel parade for first time in city’s history, but plenty of brave souls ventured downtown for inside cheer

THE WEATHER WAS FRIGHTFUL Saturday, Dec. 1, when Port Washington’s annual Christmas on the Corner celebration was held. Although organizers called off the parade and fireworks, the rest of the events went on as planned and plenty of families headed to downtown Port to participate in the festivities.Driving rain made umbrellas and boots mandatory gear, as evidenced by this couple walking on Franklin Street. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington’s Christmas parade and fireworks display, which were cancelled Saturday due to the cold, rainy weather, won’t be rescheduled.

“The logistics of trying to get Santa back here and coordinating the road closures with the state — it’s just too much with the holidays,” said Cathy Wilger, an organizer of Saturday’s Christmas on the Corner event, which included a variety of merchant sales in downtown in addition to the parade, fireworks display and lighting of the city’s Christmas tree.

Mayor Marty Becker said Tuesday he planned to officially light the Christmas tree at the foot of St. Mary’s Hill at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5.

This was the first time the Christmas parade has been cancelled, and Wilger said it was a decision made reluctantly.

“We were going back and forth,” she said. But driving rain, gusty winds and temperatures that were expected to fall to freezing about the time the parade started forced the decision.

“It was a bummer, but we were very concerned it was going to turn into ice,” Wilger said, noting that the ground temperature was 33 degrees. “We decided we had to side with safety, not just for the parade participants but for the parade watchers as well.”

Wilger said organizers consulted with police before making the decision at about noon.

But Wilger said she was heartened to see how many people braved the weather to visit shops and bring their children to see Santa and participate in the many activities offered downtown.

“One of the crafts at the Exploreum was making antlers, and a lot of the kids were wearing them when they came to see Santa,” she said, adding numerous people stopped to have photos taken with the Princesses and Mary Poppins.

“I was amazed by the number of people who came for the activities. It was great to hear everyone who came out talking about how much they love the event.”


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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