It’s official—Lions cancel 2016 South Shore Frolics Parade

April 21, 2016

By Katherine Keller


Spectators wait for the 2013 South Shore Frolics Parade to roll down Kinnickinnic Avenue. PHOTO Katherine Keller

Spectators wait for the 2013 South Shore Frolics Parade to roll down Kinnickinnic Avenue. PHOTO Katherine Keller

The Bay View Lions have canceled the 2016 Frolics Parade due to insufficient sponsorship funding.

In an email to the Compass last night, Bay View Lions member Dave Reszel wrote, “Unfortunately, despite many persistent attempts by the Bay View Lions Club led by parade fundraiser Les Johns, we also have faced a very difficult challenge that resulted in our decision. The silver lining is that Bay View resident Kathy Krause…was able to personally raise more than $1,700. She informed the Bay View Lions Club that since there will not be a Frolics parade, she is giving those dollars to the Humboldt Park 4th of July committee and has earmarked them for their 4th of July parade.”

Krause was part of a group of South Shore residents led by Sonia Hass, who formed an ad hoc committee to “save the Frolics 2016 parade” last year after the Lions announced the cancellation of the 2015 parade.

Krause staged two fundraisers. She held a tea and luncheon in November at the Wisconsin Club that featured a century of millinery history, and in December, a 50s dance at Club Garibaldi. Krause’s fundraising work was as an individual with no affiliation with a nonprofit.

Hass and her group were able to raise no funds. She attributed the failure to the group’s inability to find a nonprofit fiscal agent to receive parade sponsorships. The IRS deems donations to be charitable contributions when made via a nonprofit fiscal agent. Groups who are not themselves a 501(c)(3) often employ this method to encourage donations when fundraising.

The cost for city permits, barricades, and parade fees was $20,000, Hass said.

The parade, a six-decades-long tradition in the community, is beloved by South Shore residents.

The Lions canceled the paraded in 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014. However Bay View resident Patty Pritchard Thompson volunteered to help the Lions in 2013 and 2014 and secured sufficient sponsorship funding both years enabling the Lions to stage the parade.

This year the Bay View Lions hope to extend the traditional three-day festival by a day. It would be held Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17 from 11:00am to 10:30pm, according to information included on its application to the Department of Public Works.

Lyn Graziano, a Bay View Lions members and lead Frolics organizer, said that the additional day, Thursday, would be a “Family, Health, and Wellness Day.”

District 14 Alderman Zielinski has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the Lions’ request to extend the festival.

It will be held Tuesday, May 24 at 6pm in the South Shore Park Pavilion.

Representatives of the Bay View Lions Club will attend, Zielinski said.


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