NewsWaukesha Christmas Parade


Waukesha bar struggles to get customers downtown since parade tragedy

Memorial for Waukesha Christmas parade
Posted at 10:06 PM, Dec 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 10:43:07-05

It's been 3 weeks since the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy. Many are still finding ways to cope with the trauma they experienced, and it's keeping some from revisiting Main Street. The drop in traffic has been hard on local businesses.

On any given weekend the Main Street strip is the place. to be but since the Christmas parade tragedy, bars like the Craft Lounge have only seen half of the number of customers from what they're used to.

Jared Jonas, co-owner of the Craft Lounge, understands the decline but hopes this won't be permanent.

"I'm not upset about it and I totally understand, but it would be nice for that to not haunt it forever," said Jonas.

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Brandon Krawczyk, a bartender at the Craft Lounge, had stepped out to get some fresh air during the Christmas parade.

"Next thing I know I see this car exponentially moving at a faster rate and then I see one of the dancing grannies fly off of this car, and I just held this lady I don't even know in my arms while she was just like bleeding out on my hands," said Krawczyk.

Mental health expert Lakiesha Russell believes this type of trauma can be triggering to revisit specific places and that it must be processed.

"There is no time frame for recovering from your trauma, just being able to do the work and having somebody support you through that journey is definitely key," said Russell.

Several businesses have plans to host a benefit to not only raise money for victims but bring more people back downtown to build new memories.

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Weekend 4 Waukesha will kick off on Friday featuring live music, auctions, and raffles. All proceeds will be donated to the Waukesha Community Foundation.

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