Waukesha parade 2022: Holiday event returns with added security 1 year after deadly attack

John Garcia Image
Monday, December 5, 2022
Waukesha parade 2022: Holiday event returns with added security 1 year after deadly attack
The Dancing Grannies, who lost four members in the 2021 attack, are back this year, determined not to let evil win out and keep them away.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (WLS) -- It was an emotional return for the Waukesha, Wisconsin Christmas parade Sunday, one year after an attack that left six people dead and over 70 injured.

While many came out to build happier memories and remember those killed, there was also increased security this year.

Marshall Sorenson's 79-year-old mother, Ginny, was one of the six victims of the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy one year ago.

RELATED: Waukesha memorial marks 1 year since Christmas parade attack left 6 dead, over 70 injured

This year, he, his daughters and father are leading the way for the Dancing Grannies group that Ginny was a part of.

"My mom would've wanted us to be here, and I'm, we're doing this in remembrance of her. We wouldn't have missed. Not on anything," Marshall said.

The group was devastated a year ago when four members were killed when Darrell Brooks drove his SUV onto the parade route, running over dozens.

But the Dancing Grannies are back this year. The group out of Milwaukee was determined not to let evil win out and keep them away.

It the event was emotional, not only for the Grannies, but also for the thousands who line the streets to watch.

People were anxious to spread Christmas cheer and honor of the victims, as well as first responders, from last year's tragedy.

"Seeing the Dancing Grannies come by, it was tears to your eyes. It was awesome. The community coming together," said Tabitha Whitmer.

RELATED: 'Jerseys for Jackson' movement honors youngest victim in Waukesha parade attack

They also wanted to show the community is strong.

The annual parade through downtown Waukesha is a tradition in the small suburb of Milwaukee, and the community was determined to keep that tradition going this year.

There was a remembrance float and many other reminders of the tragic event throughout the 2022 parade.

"Any time there's tragedy, it really brings a community together and this year, the city really answered," said Juan Paz.

Security was tight and police officers were posted throughout the parade route. The city also placed these barriers at intersections along the route to prevent vehicles from entering -- all to keep evil away.

"I firmly believe light always overcomes darkness and sometimes it takes a while, but you never quit," said Dancing Granny, Jan Kwiatkowski.

The determination to move ahead with this year's parade seems to have been a success. It's gone off without a hitch and the Christmas spirit is alive and well.

Brooks was sentenced to life in prison for each of the victims killed.

More information about the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies can be found on their Facebook page: facebook.com/Milwaukeedancingrannies