Residents: We don't want South Shore Frolics

Posted at 11:52 AM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 12:54:17-04
BAY VIEW -- A popular summer festival has a lot of residents frustrated. Many have said South Shore Frolics in Bay View is not family-fun anymore.
On Tuesday night, some even called for the 67-year-old festival to either have major overhaul or be canceled altogether. They said it no longer fits with Bay View, referencing events neighbors prefer like Chill on the Hill or the Farmer's Market.
The meeting was originally called by Alderman Tony Zielinski to discuss a fourth day for the Frolics. That, however, was shot down quickly after only seven people in the room wanted a Health and Wellness Day on the Thursday before the Frolics' usual Friday/Saturday events.
Neighbors voiced concerns about an "atomic boom" as part of the nightly fireworks display, which neighbors as far as several blocks away said caused damage to their homes.
One neighbor said a built-in cabinet in her basement fell off the wall from the event's firework display finale.
But, a bigger concern is the role of South Shore Frolics in the Bay View community.
Some said the event, once a small family event, has outgrown its roots. Now, they lament the loss of the parade.
"The parade was probably the highlight of the frolics for the community," Dean LaGrow said.
He and others wish the Frolics would be more Bay View-centric as the parade was. They said now it's turned into a rowdy event with empty beer cans and people urinating on lawns.
Dave Reszel from the Bay View Lions said they would like to have the parade, but it's cost prohibitive.
"Parade permits will run anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000. Again, before the first note is played," Reszel said.
He said with performers and other costs, the parade is about $25,000.
Reszel said he knows neighbors deal with quite a bit of disruption during the Frolics, but he said the do their best.
Reszel calls the South Shore Frolics the Bay View Lions Club's biggest fundraiser, but neighbors questioned how much money is raised. Reszel said some years, depending on weather, they have lost as much as $10,000. He said other years they have made as much.
Neighbors question whether the event is worth having, given their objections, when the group isn't making much money.
Lions Club members, Alderman Zielinski and neighbors did conclude the "atomic boom" won't be allowed in 2016, but the club said they have already paid vendors for many of the planned events, including $18,000 for fireworks.