South Shore Frolics Parade 2014

2014 South Shore Frolics Parade

Why yes, we did take part in the South Shore Frolics Parade this year, though we had a small crew, our small crew is quite dedicated… to having fun!

We managed to build a float to promote Maker Faire Milwaukee, and put Karen on a phone book so she could see where she was going, and we also convinced Chris to put the Makerspace flag on his bike and ride really fast so it would wave in the wind.

Shane let them know who we are this year by carrying the Makerspace banner, with what appeared to be great stoicism. And of course, there were some tiny electric vehicles from the Power Racing Series. Audrey on Lotusaurus Wrecks, Tiffany on Iron Rose, and I piloted the oldest still-running car we have, Baby Burrito. (Tom also tagged along and did some driving, some walking, and organized a few drag races!)

Thanks to the GoPro camera mounted on my head, we were able to capture some of the action during the parade. So enjoy the view from the top of my noggin!

We Frolicked Again

Frolicks 2013

Hey, we frolicked again!

We successfully made it through another parade, this time the 2013 South Shore Frolics Parade, which didn’t “officially” happen last year, but did happen two years ago. (And yes, we did it two years ago as well.)

Somehow Tom and Tony managed to get all 5 of the Power Wheels cars we had functional, and all were driven in the parade. Red Lotus broke down, Mr. Fusion ran out of batteries, something weird happened to Jakenstein, and as pointed out, the only cars to not have any problems were the last-minute hacked together pair of old-time (illegal!) cars known as Grave Digger and Baby Burrito. (And yeah, Joe almost flipped Grave Digger, man, that car sure lives up to its name!)

We also had a few bikes, some people walking, and my Honda Element in the parade, which played marching band music (it seemed appropriate.)

We hope to return next year, but in the meantime Mike snapped a few photos during the parade.

Return of the Frolicking Makers

Parade Makers

Remember way back in 2011 when Milwaukee Makerspace took part in the South Shore Frolics Parade? Well, I guess we were so awesome that they had to skip a year, but it’s back, and so are we!

That’s right! The Parade is Back! South Shore Frolics is this weekend, and you’ll want to catch the parade on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 at 11am. The parade begins on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. near E. Smith St. and proceeds south on Kinnickinnic Ave. before turning northeast on S. Ellen St., and finally east on E. Nock St. to South Shore Park.

This is known as “Milwaukee’s Best Parade” and we hope to help it live up to that reputation… So what are we planning?

In the words of Dr. Song: Spoilers!

No Frolics Parade?!?!

Last year, the Milwaukee Makerspace participated in the South Shore Frolics Parade with a giant driving Arduino, a driving 10′ tall can of Old Milwaukee Makerspace beer and a fleet of power wheels racers. In short, it was a blast. I’ve lived in Bay View for the last 6 and a half years and a highlight every summer has been the Frolics Parade. For long-time Bay View Residents, the Parade has been a summer highlight for over 60 years. Being in the parade and producing such fun floats for it was more fun than i thought it would be and we immediately started scheming for the 2012 parade.

Milwaukee Makerspace
Giant Ardiuino
Little Pink Trike

This year, it doesn’t look like we’ll have a Frolics Parade, though. For the last few years, a corporate sponsor has footed the considerable bill for the parade. They are unable to do that again this year and the Bay View Lions Club is left without the funds for a parade.

David and I, along with several other Bay View neighbors have been working with the Lions Club to see if we can scramble to raise the funds for the parade. $13,000 is needed for the city and county alone to cover the permit, closed parking meters, re-routed buses, police officers and cleanup. Yow! I wasn’t aware that there was such a high starting bid for a parade. On top of that, many bands and groups require payment to travel and participate in the parade.

We quickly pulled together a website, voice mail and twitter account and a bunch of fliers to try to get the word out. David talked to every business from the White House to Hamburger Mary’s on KK last Saturday and had a lot of interest. We need to head back this weekend to see if we can secure any commitments from those businesses.

Members from the Milwaukee Makerspace have pledged $2,000 to kick things off, but we still have $20,000 to raise in almost no time. We’re giving it a week to follow up with Bay View businesses to see if we can arrange any commitments for funding.

If you love the Frolics Parade, ask your favorite Bay View Businesses if they are willing to help save the parade this year as you get a bite to eat, a cup of coffee, a haircut or a drink this week. If you have the means to make a significant donation yourself, please get in touch.

We’ve also thrown out a pretty cool incentive. For any group that donates $5,000, the Makerspace will build a float for you.

For donation and contact information for the parade, head over to the Save the Frolics Parade website at

Mechanized Cylindrical Sign Build for Parade Joy (Update 4)

We’re coming to the end of our South Shore Frolics Parade Float builds! This has been an incredible process. Last night we put the graphics on the cylindrical sign, and stood back to enjoy the glory of our handywork. 

Thanks to Tom, Kevin, Matt N., Bob, Mike, Shane, Elizabeth, Adam, Sean, Kristin, Amanda, Jason, Aaron, and anyone I might have missed who helped get this together!

I pose next to the completed thing. Intense!!!