Shorewood comes alive as the walking community turns to marching in procession as the village celebrates the Fourth of July on Wednesday.
Later, every patch of grass will be covered with blankets and folks staking out a spot to take in the regal fireworks.
Oakland Avenue festivities
“Be the parade, see the parade,” says Jan Zehren, coordinator of Shorewood's Fourth of July celebration.
Shorewood's Independence Day parade kicks off at 3:30 p.m., at the corner of North Oakland Avenue and East Kensington Boulevard and travels south along to East Edgewood Avenue, wrapping up at River Park/Spector Field.
But get there early. At 3 p.m., as a mini parade ahead of the official parade units, any (that means you) walker, bike-rider, stroller-pusher or dog-walker can line up at Oakland Avenue and Kensington Boulevard, and lead off the festivities through Shorewood's business district. Then, take a break at the Shorewood High School grounds to view the rest of the parade as it passes by.
Thanks to additional funding this year, the parade will feature two world-class 150-member drum and bugle corps marching bands — the Madison Scouts and Spirits of Atlanta — to enrich and enliven the whole parade route. Also marching along the route will be a 40-member German drum and bugle corps, the Wacky Wheeler and his rolling trick large wheel, an Elvis impersonator, the Erin Meadows Farm ponies, antique and collector cars, youth groups, parent teacher organizations from Atwater, Lake Bluff and St. Robert Elementary; representatives from the Village Board, School Board, Shorewood Booster Club, alumni, and for the first time this year, the new superintendent of schools, Marty Lexmond. A few local lawmakers will also join the ranks.
This year, Ken Payne was nominated as Shorewood's Grand Marshal this year.
Payne, a longtime resident of Shorewood, belongs to a number of organizations in which he enthusiastically provides a great deal of volunteer support. He is also a devoted single parent of an adult disabled son. Together, they take in Brewers' baseball games and church activities. The two will ride together in an antique convertible in the parade. Payne will be recognized at the ceremony at 8 p.m. at Atwater Park.
"Ken Payne is certainly worthy of the recognition of being named our 2012 Grand Marshal," said Jan Zehren "He is a dedicated Shorewood citizen and he is committed to helping others."
If you'd like to get involved, join the fun, build a float, be a part of a musical group, or walk together in costume. Contact Tom Rebholz at 964-8659 or Zehren at 531-2234 by at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The parade is being sponsored by the Mandel Group.
Start with a dip
From 1 to 2:30 p.m., the village starts its celebration of freedom with a dip in the Shorewood pool with a free open swim in the high school pool, 1701 E Capitol Drive.
I scream, you scream, we’re all tired and want ice cream
When the parade wraps up at Edgewood Avenue and carries into the River Park/Spector Field, enjoy free ice cream from 4 to 5:30 p.m. (while supplies last) at the Little League Pavilion. Also, enjoy the free concert by the Red Hot Dixie Jazz Band and relax in the shade.
Wednesday evening at Atwater Park: food, fun and fireworks
Here's a list of Wednesday night's festivities at Atwater Park:
6 p.m. — Beginning festivities include food and beverages for sale from the Shorewood Men's Club. Children’s activities will include face painting, balloons, a dunk tank and fresh popcorn by Goody Gourmets.
6:30 p.m. — The Shorewood Concert Band provide live music.
7:30 p.m. — Tweed Funk Band get funky in the park, sponsored by the Shorewood Men's Club.
8 p.m. — A flag ceremony and introduction of Grand Marshal, Ken Payne.
9:30 p.m. — Fireworks light up the Shorewood sky, sponsored by the Shorewood Foundation and provided by Mad Bomber of Illinois.
“They love doing the Shorewood fireworks,” said Zehren. “It’s just ideal, they shoot them off from right under the bluff, so no matter where you sit, you have a spectacular view."
For a roundup of Milwaukee area Fourth of July celebrations, follow the link.