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29th Annual Holiday Fantasy in Lights – 2017 – Hayride


November 19, 2018

 

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Another great display this year for everyone to enjoy.  This year I took a look at the displays from a new viewpoint, from a hayride! Info here.

Reserve your own haywagon ride (limited availability) for just $100 plus tax, more information: http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/reserve/hayrides.cfm

The line was long, but it was a warm night and there was a fire to keep us warm while waiting.

Each year, there is a soundtrack you can listen to as you drive through the park transmitted by a LP (low power) radio station. There are actually two stations now. Tune in to 95.3 FM for the main audio, 95.1 for the Dancing Trees.

There were two wagons continuously going around after getting loaded.  The atmosphere was filled with excitement for the upcoming holidays and the kids in the group were so excited!

 It’s our turn!  Soon, we were on our way, watch the video of the hayride.

I returned on the 25th and drove through on my own. If you want to see the displays without other people around, come early in the morning before dawn.  Enjoy the Dancing trees, synchronized to Nutcracker music.

2018 will be the 30th Anniversary of Holiday Fantasy in Lights, I look forward to that!  I will do the hayride again, it was so much fun!

 

Celebrate July 4th in Columbus, WI


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The last time we were in Columbus for July 4th was in 2012 so we decided to go back.   The parade started at noon and it was wonderful! It lasted nearly two hours. The Parade Marshalls. (click to enlarge)

Watch it here.

After the parade we headed to Fireman’s Park where all of the festivities were taking place. There was a carnival also, Mr. Ed’s Magical Midways.

The main attraction that drew us here was the First Brigade Band from Watertown. They were in the parade. They are a Civil War-era band, complete with instruments that were played in the 1860’s.  We knew about them but never saw them perform before.  See them below.

At this point, rain was threatening. The next show was Ballet Folkloriko Mexico.  They were also really good, but it began to rain half-way through their performance and they had to cut it short. They had someone also getting video, but they had to stop because of the rain. I held my hat over my camera to keep it dry! You can see my video below.

And that was the conclusion of our July 4th celebration in Columbus. We had a wonderful time here today! Let freedom ring!

Harrisville-Home of the Bratfest


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Harrisville is home of the ”LARGEST One Day Brat Fest in the State” and after seeing it for ourselves, we believe it! It is the 57th Bratfest.  Harrisville is an unincorporated community located in the town of Harris, Marquette County, Wisconsin. The population is 729. First some of the history, the Harris Town Hall. It was built in 1899, Greek Revival in design.

Near the town hall is a flag pole with a plaque on a rock. It is the Harris Veterans Memorial.

On the side of the Sportman Club building on the fest grounds is a beautiful mural depicting Harris history. Click  on picture to enlarge. It was completed 7-9-12. Learn more about other murals in Marquette County here.

Now back to Bratfest!  Here is the schedule, plenty of fun to be had for people of all ages!

The community is small but hundreds of people come here from all over for this annual fundraiser for the Harris Volunteer Fire Department. There is a lot of entertainment to be had, pedal pulls for the kids, tractor pulls for the adults, volleyball, baseball, rides, music and more!  After many years of Madison’s Brat Fest, it was fun going to one in a different community. The volleyball competition.

Baseball game.

There was a pedal pull competion for the kids, we saw that too in Wonewoc during their Old Fashioned Day festival.

This is training for the Tractor Pull, also happening at this festival. Admission was $15 per person. We looked over the fence. The Harrisville Tractor Pullers Association has many competitions through the summer and fall. See their Facebook page for updates. Below is their BIG sled. The schedule for the day.

K & M Rides and Amusements LLC from Phillip, WI provided the carnival and even pony rides.

See the carnival and more in the video below.

Souvenir T-Shirts for sale too, I got one!

We heard music from two groups, the first one was Southbound.  They are from Milwaukee. They played at the tent in the main fair grounds by the town hall and fire station.

The 2nd group was the Star Fire Family band from Readfield, WI. They were also wonderful! See a little of both groups on the video.

We had a great time at this Bratfest, different than the Johnsonville’s World’s Largest Brat Fest. The emphasis here is supporting one entity, the Harris Volunteer Fire Department.  We’re glad we went. “Barney Brat” hopes you come back next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer 2017


 

We had a wonderful summer this year. We were having so much fun going to so many great events around Wisconsin we didn’t have time to write about it yet, let alone spring!  Our South Dakota and Wyoming trip took us 4 months to write about we saw so much!

Meanwhile, enjoy our video of Summer 2017. More details coming later about what we did. We never run out of things to do in this great state!

 

 

Groundhog Day 2017 in Woodstock-25th Anniversary


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Our last visit to Woodstock was for Groundhog Day in 2015, we looked forward to another great celebration! We arrived the night before, a beautiful clear evening with no snow on the ground. Two years ago we had a big snowstorm on Feb 1.  After an easy ride down, we stopped for dinner at the Tip Top Cafe’, actually Taqueria La Placita Taco house.

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The bright light in the window is the actual Tip Top sign in the Groundhog Day movie.

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We sat in the same spot where Phil enjoyed that large breakfast in the movie.

Inside Tip Top


Groundhog Day morning we headed to the Square (Gobbler’s Knob) to see the prognostication.  The place was packed!  We were entertained by Corky Siegel and Die Musikmeisters before the prediction.  He predicted 6 more weeks of winter. We also sang Groundhog carols.

Groundhog Day songs in Woodstock

We were armed with a go pro-like camera mounted on a bike helmet to get over people’s heads and I took photos with my new Canon Rebel T6i camera. Watch it below!

Afterwards we headed to the Moose Lodge for the Groundhog Breakfast and entertainment.  It was packed too, a sell-out crowd!  We got treated to choral performances by the Woodstock High School Choir.  Richard Henzel also reprised his clock radio voice from the movie.He also did it at the Prognostication, he does both voices now since his co-star has not returned in a long time.

I made a batch of groundhog cookies to contribute to the celebration and a cd for the Inner Square committee of GH Day 2006 when WGN came to cover the event.  Watch it all below. The Groundhog picture is from the winner of the Woodstock Independent GH day poster contest. Cute!

Groundhog Cookies and Coloring Contest picture

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After a wonderful breakfast, we joined the crowd for a Bob Hudgin’s-lead Groundhog Day Movie Walking Tour. Joining him was Rick Bellairs, our friend and one of the Inner Square Committee members. This tour was bittersweet as the Bob was going to retire from giving this tour after this year.  Bob was in charge of organizing all of the places where the movie was going to be filmed. He had many anecdotes and told us about a couple of sites not on the guide. That was the tree the boy fell out of and the tunnel seen during the police chase after stealing the groundhog. He had been leading it since 2005 and it was time for someone else to pick up the mantle. Maybe Rick was his understudy too 🙂  I also recorded a video of this historic tour to share with all of you.  Thanks Bob for keeping the movie alive 25 years later!

Bob Hudgins Location Manager of Groundhog Day

Woodstock Groundhog Day Movie Site Walking Tour

That was an incredible tour (and cold!)  We headed to the Public House for lunch and toasted our sodas to World Peace.i-always-drink-to-world-peace-plaque-at-public-house-in-woodstock

Bar in Groundhog Day movie in Woodstock

We got some souvenirs at this delightful bookstore on the square, Read Between the Lynes.  Their helpful staff can help you find the perfect gift or treat for yourself.

Read Beween the Lynes bookstore in Woodstock

iead Between the Lynes staff

Read Between the Lynes Groundhog Day display

Our last stop was the Woodstock Public Library to see artifacts from the movie on display, my cookies were served there to the whole community, sweet!

Woodstock Public Library

Groundhog Display in Woodstock Library sign

Groundhog Garbage can top

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Gobbler's Knob woodstock

 

Richard Henzel was there too, we chatted a bit and took a selfie too. Very nice man and a great conversationalist.

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We had a perfect Groundhog Day in Woodstock, one we wish we could repeat.

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Village of Sturtevant-On the Move


 

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Sturtevant is a village of 6,970 and is a suburb of Racine, which we visited in 2015.  This community is right on the Amtrak train route which makes it easy to get to if traveling here that way.  The traffic is frequent as well, this video shows two trains within 5 minutes of each other.

Before we arrived in Sturtevant, we went to the community of Caledonia first. The reason for that was the original depot was moved there to Linwood Park, a historical building complex. Find it at 7430 5 Mile Road, Franksville, WI 53126. They are maintained by the Caledonia Historical Society.  Hopefully we can visit sometime when they are open.

Old Sturtevant Depot in Caledonia

The new Sturtevant Station is beautiful and incorporates some elements of this design, just larger. It was dedicated on August 1, 2006.

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The pedestrian overpass makes it easy to cross to the other side of the track to catch a train on the opposite side.  We were in town to see the Canada Pacific Holiday Train which was a lot of fun!

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Other points of interest in Sturtevant, the historic Klinkert Hotel building, now privately owned.  A video about it was produced by Thom Peterson.

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Across the street from the Klinkert is the Caboose Railroad Museum. On the site is a sign explaining the railroad’s role in more detail.

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Caboose at museum in Sturtevant

Rail cars at Sturtevant

We enjoyed dinner at the Castlewood Restaurant next to this display, great food there! Open since July 2o, 1989, it is a mainstay here for a satisfying meal.

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Even though our visit here was short, it was quite enjoyable with the holiday train’s visit as the centerpiece.

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1st Annual Henry Vilas Zoo Lights


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Zoo Light poster

Many places in the Madison area are decorating their establishments with lights  for their patrons to see them at night.  It is a fundraiser idea that has been getting more popular over the years. The Henry Vilas Zoo jumped on the bandwagon this year with their first Zoo Lights event. We went on the first night while it was still warm outside.

Zoo Lights sign

This event was well attended for its first night, the weather helped too. Madison radio station Z104 was also there that night. Many animal lights too of course, very cute!  Mallard ducks at Vilas Zoo lights

See all the displays in our video!

 

 The Vilas staff and volunteers did an awesome job in their inaugural year of this great new event.  We look forward to seeing what they will do next year!