South side church says goodbye to annual festival after 55-years

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by Priscilla Luong

MILWAUKEE-- One last round on the roller coaster and one last spin on the dance floor for the Timmermans.

"We have wonderful church festivals in Milwaukee, just wonderful," said Roberta Thurston-Timmerman, after a dance with her husband.

They attend the Summer Music Festival at St. Veronica's each year.

"We just love it, it's just fun," said Thurston-Timmerman.

After 55-years, this will be the final festival for the church on Milwaukee's south side.

"It was a big part of my life, in fact-- it was literally, half my life," said Jim Klajbor, the festival chairman.

Klajbor has spent nearly three decades organizing the festival.

"It's just getting to the point where, the risk is there, but the return on the investment isn't," said Klajbor.

He says it takes about $100,000 to put on the event-- an annual fundraiser for the church, but people aren't spending money like they used to.

"This event takes a full year to put together," said Pastor Mark Payne.

Pastor Payne says it's also difficult to find volunteers for the festival.

"People are going to be sad to see this festival come to an end," said Pastor Payne.

So for families like the Timmermans-- it's almost time for the last dance, but until the final song-- they'll enjoy each moment.

"Oh you better believe it," said Thurston-Timmerman.

The festival continues through Sunday night, admission and parking are both free.

 

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