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Grafton makes tribute to Waukesha following Sunday parade tragedy

Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-27 18:54:03-05

The Village of Grafton proudly keeps with tradition.

On Saturday, it hosted it's 41st annual Grafton Christmas Parade that runs through the heart of the village down Wisconsin Avenue.

"It's good to see that our community is celebrating the season, as we all should," said parade MC Michael Cibulka, who's helped with the parade for decades.

But while Grafton was celebrating, it was also remembering its neighbors in Waukesha who have suffered.

Two women led the Grafton parade, carrying a banner that read: "We Stand With Waukesha."

They walked alone, without music or the noise that often accompanies a parade entry. It was a tribute, and the people along the route applauded as the banner passed them.

On Sunday, a man drove an SUV into Waukesha's annual Christmas Parade, killing six people and injures dozens of others.

"I know that there are some strange things that do happen, but thankfully, we aren't succumb to the fear. Lives do have to go on as normal as they can be," said Cibulka off to the side of the parade grandstand. "It's just fitting to, you know, give them a little bit of a tribute. Let them know we're thinking about them, as well as any community that has the privilege of putting on a parade like this."

The Grafton parade rolled along Saturday morning into the early afternoon as it has every year since 1980. Children competed to grab pieces of candy and parents, standing on the sidewalks behind their kids, sipped coffee, beer and Bloody Marys.

The only noticeable difference to prior years — a boost in security. Grafton and other communities nearby placed snowplows and other large trucks at what appeared to be every possible road entry to the parade route.

The crowd's focus, however, was undoubtedly on the parade.

"The vibe has been very, very positive. We're here to have a good time. That's what were here for," said Hunter Howell, who drove his self-built Monowheel in the parade.

Last Sunday, Howell also drove in the Waukesha parade.

"To be here now in Grafton, supporting [everyone.] What a terrible, terrible thing that happened in Waukesha. And I'm trying to make a notion with this here," said Howell, pointing to a flag on his Monowheel which read "Waukesha Strong."

Paige Krist, who watched the parade at the corner of 12th and Wisconsin, said she hits all of the area parades.

"I'm glad that parades are still on and there's more security. Everybody feels safe and happy out here," said Krist.

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