Boat parade

Milwaukee Riverkeeper presents the second annual Milwaukee Riverkeeper Boat Parade Sept. 8.

The parade is a fun twist on a family classic, with floating art installations parading up and down the Milwaukee River from noon-2 p.m.

"Milwaukee Riverkeeper both serves and celebrates our local waterways. Our rivers and Great Lake are the essence of our city and the reason for its location," said Milwaukee Riverkeeper executive director Jennifer Bolger Breceda. "This event is a celebration of what makes Milwaukee so special, our waters. The parade connects people to our waters — through beautiful, public art." 

Local artists applied to be considered for the parade and eight float designs were selected.

Artists have been working for weeks on their art pieces — ranging from snails to sea monsters — and designed to celebrate Milwaukee’s Rivers.

“I’ve been trying to expand my boundaries as a local artist and do community-orientated projects that give back,” said Malvy Westbrook, a local artist in parade.  

Westbrook’s float plans include a giant, imbibing robot — a nod to the history and future of Milwaukee’s beer industry.

“Milwaukee’s waters mean a lot to me because everyone deserves clean and well-taken-care-of water,” he said.

Another local artist, Jeff Holub, jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the event.  

“I love Milwaukee because of the water. I used to live on River Road in Glendale and walk down to the river every day, and I believe the parade is helping build community spirit,”  said Holub.

Viewers can vote for their favorite float during the event. Every vote enters spectators into a drawing for a Patagonia backpack. Parade watchers can vote at

Parade sponsors include Carefree Boat Club, CenterPointe Yacht Services, Ian Abston, Riverwalk Boat Tours, Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series and Toyota.


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