Christmas parade makes emotional return to Waukesha

WAUKESHA, Wisc. () — The annual Waukesha Christmas Parade returned to downtown Waukesha Sunday afternoon with the intention of honoring the victims that were lost in last year’s parade.

Six people died and more than 60 were injured after an SUV was driven into a Christmas parade in Waukesha on November 21, 2021. Darrell Brooks, Jr. has been found guilty on all six homicide charges.

This year’s theme was “Peace on Earth” and first responders acted as the collective grand.

Several groups marched in the parade, many of which were struck by tragedy, including the Dancing Grannies. Four of the six people killed in last year’s parade were members of their organization.

“Jenny’s reminder at the beginning of every parade was like no matter what happens, you make a mistake, whatever it is, you just keep on dancing,” recalled Jan Kwiatkowski, co-leader of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. “Gonna be laughing and smiling and all of that and crying and some moments.”

Emotions ran high not only for the people who performed in the parade but also for those who attended.

“You can’t move past completely, but it will be that marker. I think for me, personally, and a lot of others to get this done and get it done well,” said Rob Hoverman, board president of the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce.

affiliate WGN contributed to this report.

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