Winterdaze Parade helps business and bring a community together

By: Chris Baylor, with Photographer Duane Wolter Email
By: Chris Baylor, with Photographer Duane Wolter Email

Rudolph, Santa and community members all came together to help get everyone into the holiday spirit. The annual Winterdaze Parade took to the streets Thursday to help bring the Menomonie a little closer together and help out area businesses.

People enjoying the Winterdaze Parade say they're thrilled the city has a parade. In fact it's the eighth year for the parade. Businesses say they're happy to help put it on and bring the city a little closer for the holidays.

Just after 6:30 p.m. floats started rolling down the road to welcome in the holiday season and turn downtown Menomonie into a winter wonderland.

"I love that it's a good sense of community. There’s so many people here I just love that it's a small town," says Julie McManus.

"It's very fun everyone's happy for the holidays," says Tammy Leach.

"The community feel around Menomonie is great, we love it," says Brian Klanderman

In Ted's Pizza it was packed. The pizza joint sits right on the parade rout and people inside were trying to warm up and fill up before the parade.

"It's been a great turn out. Years past when I was growing up in Menomonie we had the Fourth of July Parade and others but they fell by the wayside. It's nice to see the community join together and come downtown," says Jim Gounaikis who owns Ted’s Pizza.

About 25 businesses help sponsor the event.

“Just trying to keep the downtown businesses involved and keep the downtown alive. There's a window display decoration to help keep it fun and interesting to shop downtown,” Michaela Spencer with the Cedar Corporation.

She says a lot of work and planning goes into putting on the parade but she says all of the businesses that help out say it's worth the time and money.

"It's nice because it gives us that small town feel we can still gather the community and have them take advantage of a Christmas event. It takes a lot of work to get a float going but people keep doing it year after year," says Spencer.

"Young, old it's a great time. Being an adult it's like being like a kid again," says Heather Klanderman

While the parade is just getting over the planning has already started for next year's on December 13th.


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