Boat Parade is Saturday Night, August 18th at the Band Shell beach
Oconomowoc’s “Festival Week” was started in 1988 as a community’s celebration leading up to our nationally famous “Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts”. It was put together by the City of Oconomowoc Bureau of Economic Development and Tourism Director, Denny Daggett, Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce President, Maureen Stapleton and Director Muriel Riegor, and Oconomowoc Parks and Recreation Director, Clarke Johnson.
“The Parade of Lights”, was an evening boat parade where participating residents would put generators and lights on their various craft, sail past the band shell and swimming beach and compete for a trophy. The first year it was awarded to the Rietbrock Family, the second year to Jerry and Carol Zeutzius. After that, the Rhodee family entered the Parade and won every year for so many years that a special trophy was given to them as a tribute for all their effort and creativity. They have set the tone for the “Parade of Lights” ever since.
The American Legion’s legendary Band and the fireworks added to the boat “Parade of Lights” combined for a magical evening. It was estimated that counting the spectators on land around the lake and viewing in boats on the lake sometimes numbered over 10,000.
The boat “Parade of Lights” was lost for a while, but luckily some really hard working, concerned and extremely imaginative citizens, under the original leadership of Maureen Stapleton, revived it in 2011. The “Light Up the Lakes” Committee is a not for profit group, having no budget and no money, relying solely on the generosity of the citizens of Oconomowoc. They wish to make sure that this anticipated free family evening could go on and are inviting all to attend.
The homemaker groups of Waukesha County, which includes the Monterey Homemakers Club, is a member of the Wisconsin Association for Home and Community Educations, Inc. Our groups meets with several goals in mind. We promote personal growth. We try to make a difference in our homes, communities and the world.
One of our most endearing contributions to our communities is the sharing of books with Head Start children. This program called 'Bookworms' is headed by Jean Gesvain, a member of the Monterey Homemaker Club. This past year in Waukesha County, 94 Head Start children were read to by four volunteers. Each child received a set of books for a total of 752 books given to them. Another member of the Monterey group, Harriet Daley, knits hats and mittens for these children.