Chippewa Falls Pure Water Days Parade and Riverfest kicks off Saturday with safety precautions in mind

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -The 45th annual Pure Water Days Parade and Riverfest will be fun for the whole family.

With lingering fears and anxiety from incidents like the parade shooting in Illinois earlier this summer and the driver who hit and killed several parade-goers in Waukesha in December, law enforcement says safety is top of mind for this year’s parade.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk says between his department and the police department, the Chippewa Falls community will be protected.

“Kelm assures me that there’s going to be extra law enforcement, not only his personnel, he’s going to get some help from the Wisconsin state patrol, the sheriff’s department,” Kowalczyk said.

Sheriff Kowalczyk says with the added police presence, there will always be someone around to help.

“There’s probably going to be always some officer in sight, either get their attention or simply call the sheriff’s department and we will dispatch accordingly,” Kowalczyk said.

Teri Ouimette with Chippewa Falls Main Street says especially with the atmosphere recently, she’s grateful to have law enforcement around.

I have to say, we always do for every event for many years as long as I’ve been here,” Ouimette said. “But this, of course, in these times, we have to pay close attention, and that’s what we’re doing.”

With Sheriff Kowalczyk retiring after over 40 years in law enforcement, he was asked to be the grand marshal for this year’s parade.

“A tribute not only to me and my family but again to law enforcement that the sheriff of Chippewa County is honored to be the grand marshal,” Kowalczyk said.

The Pure Water Days Parade kicks off at 1 pm on Bridge Street in Chippewa Falls Saturday. This year’s theme is jungle safari and there will be over 50 floats. Following the parade, Riverfest will take place at Riverfront Park from 2 pm until 8 pm. There will be live music playing throughout the entire day.

Sheriff Kowalczyk says if you feel unsafe or see anything suspicious, call the police or look for an officer in the crowd.

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