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An American Classic: Fourth of July at Gordon Park

by Jan Christensen It happens every year…early in the morning on the Fourth of July, you hear it. The sounds of a marching band, faintly at first, getting closer… Quick, pull on some clothes and run out to the street! It’s the Fourth of July parade in Riverwest. A neighborhood dignitary heads up an enthusiastic marching band. Somebody struts by on stilts wearing a fanciful costume. Kids ride bikes, push doll buggies or pull coaster wagons decorated with fluttering red, white, and blue streamers. Runners along the sidewalks hand out American flags. Grab that flag and come along — anybody can join the parade! The Riverwest Fourth of July parade starts at 9 a.m. with groups gathering at two locations: St. Casimir’s at the corner of Clarke and Bremen, and St. Mary’s at the corner of Burleigh and Fratney. The two groups meet at Locust Street, then proceed to Gordon Park. Once you get to the park, it’s non-stop fun. There are games and workshops for the kids, free ice cream and soda, and a program presented by Milwaukee Public Theater. At 11:30 a.m., the decorated doll buggies, bikes, trikes, and coaster wagons are judged and prizes are awarded. A talent show starts at 12:30 p.m., featuring the best of Riverwest — this is a treat not to be missed! The afternoon is perfect for a relaxing family picnic. In the early evening, a local band plays, leading into the big event of the day, the fireworks show. Don’t miss the Fourth of July in Gordon Park. It’s one of the best Riverwest events of the summer! Questions? Call Jan Christensen, 263-1380.
by Jan Christensen