Dust has settled after last year's controversial parade - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dust has settled after last year's controversial Labor Day Parade

WAUSAU (WAOW) -

At this year's Labor Day Parade the crowd is just as loud, but the atmosphere is a little different.

"It's much more relaxed, much more friendly," Joe Keuther of Wausau said.

Last year the Marathon County Labor Council banned republicans from taking part in the parade. This, after their support of Governor Walker's collective bargaining law. But after heated debate they reversed that decision, allowing everyone to march.

"We sent a message out there last year," Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke said. "We got people talking about it at least."

 Now this year, everyone was invited.

"I asked the delegates and we decided to vote and we voted to allow them in," Radtke explained.

Despite the controversy, republican representative Sean Duffy took part in last year's parade. He said this year he wouldn't think of missing it.

"This year there is far less animosity than there was last year," Rep. Duffy said. "It is back to that great community event, that great community get together and I am proud to be here."

Democratic Assembly candidate Mandy Wright agrees with that.

"That was a different time and I'm happy we can all come together because we all have the same goals," Wright said.

But while everyone was invited, it's obvious there are still some hard feelings.

"They still don't know what labor means," Radtke said.

But both sides agreed to put their differences away, for a day to celebrate together. 

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