MILWAUKEE -- A 40-year tradition has been canceled. The fireworks finale at the South Shore Water Frolics has been silenced. But one of the groups in charge of the popular event says how it happened is unfair.
If you've heard of the South Shore Water Frolics, chances are you've heard of "Blow Up The Beach" -- the fireworks finale.
The fireworks finale can be seen from the beach -- but some say you can hear it and feel it across the surrounding area -- leading to complaints from neighbors. The complaints led to a vote two weeks ago to cancel that portion of the event.
"Very happy," Christine Kovach said.
Kovach was at the May 24th meeting involving the Bay View Lions Club, one of the groups behind the event, and neighbors like Kovach.
"The South Shore Frolics are right across the street," Kovach said.
Kovach wasn't expecting the topic of the fireworks finale to come up at the meeting, but said she is glad it did.
"I think it's too loud and it shakes our homes too much and I don`t think its necessary. A lot of people who have dogs and pets say that it really is problematic," Kovach said.
Other neighbors admit the noise can be a pain, but some said they can't imagine the event without its traditional finale.
"I love the 'Blow Up The Beach.' It kills me that it's going to go away. I hate that," Lora Hardin said.
"They`ll still have the fireworks -- they just won`t have the rapid explosion thing, which, I don`t think that matters at all," Andrew Shelp said.
Some say while the sentiment on both sides is understood, how this decision came about is still a bit cloudy.
"That part was kind of weird. It sounded like it happened really quickly and the people that actually wanted to voice their opinions for the 'Blow Up The Beach' didn`t get to have a say in it," Shelp said.
A spokesperson with the Lions Club says the meeting was supposed to be about adding an extra day to the event, which was in the end, decided against.
But then, Alderman Tony Zielinski opened up a discussion on the Frolics in general, which apparently "blindsided the Lions."
A vote followed -- with 60 opposed to the grand finale on Friday and Saturday nights, and 21 in favor.
The spokesperson said they feel those invited to the meeting in the first place were "arbitrary, selective and biased," and they're questioning the fairness of the vote.
Neighbors who were there say the meeting was widely publicized.
The Lions Club plans on having another meeting Tuesday, June 7th to discuss where to go from here.