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Waukesha victims remembered during Appleton Christmas parade

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 8:52 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:11 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Appleton’s Christmas parade went on as scheduled Tuesday, and organizers used the event as an opportunity to remember the victims in Waukesha with a silent procession.

At the very beginning of this year’s event, city officials held up candles and passed the crowd in silence, as a show of support to those suffering in Waukesha.

“We keep them in our prayers and we know that the Lord will see them through the difficult times but indeed it does shed a little cloud on today,” said Linda Cotton, of Appleton who was among those in the crowd.

The silent procession wasn’t the only change, as extra barricades were set up with a heavy police presence to ensure those lining College Avenue felt safe.

Cathy Ehlke of Appleton said, “What happened there was such a tragic thing for all of those families and I think about my own grandchildren who I’m waiting for and I think about them wanting to be out in the road and just playing around and doing whatever and at this time you can’t do that because you really have to be careful of what’s around you.”

While some people were hesitant to come out, many said they’re glad the parade wasn’t canceled, and that the victims in Waukesha are being remembered.

This includes Lisa Ebben who showed up with her entire family from Mackville.

“I say you have to celebrate life every single day. Be glad we wake up the sun is shining and sets. Enjoy life,” she said.

The nighttime parade is the largest in the upper Midwest, and was called off last year because of the pandemic.

Jackie Sanders of Green Bay added, “My heart goes out to all of the families and everybody that is affected and stuff like that. It’s a sad tragedy and then to try to celebrate a holiday like this.”

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