What’s a parade without a marching band?

Well, on the Fourth of July people in Riverside and Brookfield just might find out.

It appears that the Riverside-Brookfield High School marching band will not be marching on the Fourth of July. In past years, the RB band has marched in both the Riverside and Brookfield July 4 parades, but this year the RB band may be a no show.

RB is planning on eliminating its summer band program, one of many program cuts RB is making as a result of the defeat of the tax referendum on April 5, and no summer band program means no appearance in July 4 parades.

“That’s basically what the summer program is,” said District 208 Interim Superintendent David Bonnette on Monday. “That’s the administrative recommendation. That’s currently one of the reductions. That’s our administrative position as of today.”

Bonnette said that the District 208 school board will review budget cuts at its May 17 meeting.

Parade organizers say the parade won’t be the same if the Marching Bulldogs are not there.

“They would definitely be missed,” said Arlene Rovner of the Brookfield Recreation Department. “They’ve been in there for years. It’s a staple. People look forward to them.”

Rovner said that a contract she sent to RB for the band’s participation in this year’s parade was returned to her with a sticky note from RB music director Kevin McOlgan saying that the band would not be marching in the parade this year.

Bonnette said that it costs RB about $800 for the band to be in the parades.

The costs involve bus transportation, holiday pay for the bus driver and some pay for staff to prepare the band.

“There is some transportation and some preparation time, because in the past we’ve had the incoming ninth grade kids who were allowed to march with RB’s band so it does take some practice and preparation time,” Bonnette said.

RB has been paid for the band’s participation in the parade. The Friend’s of the Fourth volunteer group that now organizes Riverside’s parade has paid RB $400 in recent years for the band to march in the parade.

Rovner said that this year Brookfield’s contract offered to pay RB $300 this year for the band to be in the parade. Brookfield has paid a little more to RB for the band to participate in the past.

Joanne Kosey, a Landmark columnist who is a member of the Friends of the Fourth committee in Riverside, says that the RB band should be part of the parades.

“It would be a big disappointment and a break in a tradition that’s been longstanding,” Kosey said. “They are always met with applause and cheers. It would be very sad, especially because there is a monetary compensation for this.”

Organizers are looking for other marching bands to be in the parade, but it’s not easy.

“You have very few school bands because there are very few summer band programs at any high school any more,” Rovner said.

Rovner said she is looking to get a band or a drill team from a school in Chicago to be in the Brookfield parade.