Wausau Holiday Parade sparks joy to the Christmas season

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau’s 92nd annual ‘Holiday Parade’ lit up the streets downtown Friday night. And, one float in the parade, literally, warmed people up with ‘Christmas cheer.’

Organizers of the Taste ‘N Glow Balloon Fest, Steve and Nancy Woller, with the help of their friends, put together a parade float every year. “We’re kind of known as the fire float,” Steve said. “Yep, we bring the heat baby,” Nancy added as they both giggled and explained that the burners give off 10 million BTU of heat.

“We’ve been doing a lot of years, and it’s something we look forward to every year,” Nancy said. It’s one float a lot of parade-goers look forward to seeing. “We have a whole bunch of oldies and a bunch of newbies, we have Bart Simpson, woohoo,” she said.

The Woller’s explained that it’s a tradition of their own at this time of the year. “We’re so lucky, we have so many good friends that this is how we get together and say ‘Merry Christmas,’ and we just have a great time.”

The Woller’s ignited the spirit while keeping in mind the victims of the Waukesha incident. “A friend of ours is a balloon pilot and unfortunately was right in front of the tragedy, and it was horrifying seeing his flames shooting, honestly, I still cry over it,” Nancy said. “And, one of their persons got hit actually, in the float,” Steve added.

“Our sign has six hearts for the six fallen and the 10 children that were hospitalized are holding hands, and the tears on the candle are the tears we all feel for them,” Nancy said.

One boy that went to the Wausau Parade even wore his jersey to show his support for Jackson Sparks, who was killed in the Waukesha Parade. “We’re here to have fun, and support the boy that died,” Liam said.

Wausau Events also held a candlelight vigil after the parade to remember the victims of the Waukesha Parade.

A total of 79 floats were in the parade this year, and a total of 103 vehicles altogether.

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