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La Crosse cancels Labor Day parade and picnic for 2nd year in a row

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For the second straight year, union members in La Crosse will have to celebrate Labor Day without the traditional north-side parade and the Copeland Park picnic.  You can blame COVID-19, again, according to Bill Brockmiller from the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO. 

The La Crosse parade was started 130 years ago, and Brockmiller says it has been cancelled only nine times, including this year and 2020. The parade was called off three years in a row during the early 1920’s.    

Last year on Labor Day, the U.S. Secretary of Labor did visit La Crosse for the holiday, even without a parade.  Eugene Scalia was secretary at the time, and he spoke at an outdoor campaign rally for then-Vice President Mike Pence at Dairyland Power.         

Brockmiller says labor leaders made the cancellation decision in mid-August, after already planning for the parade. He says the main concern was to avoid spreading the coronavirus during the picnic at Copeland. Eau Claire also has called off Labor Day events for Monday.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.