Waukesha Christmas Parade Memorial designs revealed | Waukesha County News

WAUKESHA — Six designs for memorials recognizing and honoring all of the victims impacted by the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy will be reviewed at an upcoming Parade Memorial Commission meeting. At the upcoming Tuesday, July 26 meeting the commission is expected to decide on the top three designs for public input as well as discuss fundraising for the memorials.

A smaller memorial site of recognition has been selected by the commission, which is along the parade route on Main Street. A larger memorial will also be located at city-owned Grede Park, across the river and across Wisconsin Avenue from Veterans Park.


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One submitted design is by Carmen De La Paz, which features a 7-to 8-foot sculpture of bronze cupped hands holding a mosaic-tiled heart, inside a circle of landscaping. In addition, six trees facing the hands and six benches will represent each victim that lost their life. In the center of the space will be a 36-inch domed light with a 6-inch brass collar embedded into the floor, shooting a powerful beam of light into the sky.

Designs submitted by Monument Warehouse feature various options at Grede Park — all large stone monuments with the names and images of the six people who lost their lives at the parade. A small memorial option is also featured, with benches and one stone memorial in the center of the sitting area, for the Main Street site.

A design submitted by Saiki Design includes a design monument at the Main Street site, which is a 36-inch diameter cylinder that contains information about the six victims who died and their names. A small blue light dome would be on top of the cylinder with a “crack” along the cylinder using an LED light strip. The design would connect to the proposed “A Garden For Our Souls” at Grede Park, which would be a figure eight path emblematic of the infinity sign. The park would be a garden area with many plantings and a sitting area along the garden wall. A small plaque would also be featured in the park.

A design submitted by Strang focuses on “ripples” to represent how the parade tragedy “rippled through the community.” An open-air pavilion that appears as waves would be constructed from wood — six would be placed along walking paths in Grede Park, which would lead visitors to one in the center of the park. On Main Street, there will be a “rippling” monolith with several benches featuring the same aesthetic.

Richard Taylor’s design features seven trees to represent the approximately 70 people who were injured or killed in the parade. Six medallions representing those who died would also be featured. A “message tree” would also be available for visitors to leave notes, flowers, ribbons or any other meaningful tribute.

A design submitted by Thrive Architects features “fibers” that weave through the site and connect in the center as a sculptural concrete heart. The design references a quote by Herman Melville: “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”

The memorial is proposed to be located along the north end of Grede Park. The open space through the heart is designed to look upon Main Street. Each “ribbon” of the heart would include an LED light along their length. In addition, dedicated birch trees would be located along the path.

Detailed proposals are available to view online at waukesha.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx in the July 26 Parade Memorial Commission agenda.

For the latest news on the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy, click here.