Eau Claire's Clearwater Winter Parade gets canceled

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) After just two years, an Eau Claire parade has been cancelled.

The Clearwater Winter Parade, started in 2012, to raise money for youth recreation scholarships.

“It's been really exciting to see the people come down and have that spirit of Christmas,” Eau Claire city manage Russ Van Gompel said.

That spirit will need to be found somewhere else after business leaders voted against having Eau Claire’s Clearwater Winter Parade on Water Street.

“The business improvement district has decided not to support, or actually recommend against holding the Clearwater Christmas Parade so we'll be looking at some other options of what might work,” Van Gompel said.

Eau Claire City Manager Russ Van Gompel said he would like to see the parade march on, in a different part of town.

“I think it's important to bring people into our city, we'll look at options on whether or not we'll do downtown and we need to consider those options and see if they'll work.

Details women's clothing and jewelry store C.E.O. Mickey Judkins said having the parade on Water Street in December is like asking the mall to block off their best parking during the one of the biggest shopping days.

“We lost our regular customers for the majority of the day of the parade, because the street is cleared early and it just doesn't make financial sense to close down this street in the fourth quarter, during the Christmas season. That's a crucial time for the businesses,” Judkins said.

She also said the expenses took away from potential earnings for the event's cause, raising money for youth recreation scholarships.

Van Gompel said he'll look at Farwell and Barstow Streets as possible replacements, but said it may be difficult to bring the parade back this Dec.

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