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Celebrate July 4th in Columbus, WI


7-4-18 and 7-4-12

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!

Oregon Community Band and Tin Man Water Tower Lighting


6-6-18

Today was a special day in the Village of Oregon. Oregon is a big believer in preserving their heritage and history. They proved that again by not tearing down their historic “Tin Man” water tower. Instead, they chose to restore it and light it up!  Tonight is the inaugural lighting of this Oregon landmark.  The Pump House below the tower was previously restored and now the tower is too! It was also open that evening.

Before that, it was time to enjoy a concert by the Oregon Community Band.  It takes place at Waterman Triangle Park downtown.  They have entertained Oregon since 1981. Jim Baxter is the current Conductor.

Enjoy the concert too!  At the end of the show, the Tin Man Water Tower’s lights were turned on for the first time!

A beautiful evening in Oregon, Wisconsin. This community preserves their history in a way that all can enjoy.

 

Harrisville-Home of the Bratfest


9-3-17 Labor Day weekend Sunday

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35th Annual Cesky Den in Hillsboro


6-10-17 / 2nd Saturday in June

This is our 4th Cesky Den and we were happy we could come back again.  Here is the full schedule of events. Admission is $10 and includes a souvenir button and you get entered into a raffle too!

They have made some changes since our first time in 2013. The festival seemed mostly adult oriented our first time, now they have added more modern attractions the kids are enjoying these days.  The morning began with a Color Run, first implemented last year.

Also a bounce house for the kids.

I still miss the Yuba Hillsboro Czech Singers, they have not been there for a few years. At least I have the CD they produced a few years back. It has traditional Czech songs sung in Czech. Here are the liner notes. This picture is from our first time in 2013.

Notice the cool backdrop? It shows businesses in Hillsboro.

Enjoy the Color Run and the Opening Ceremony below.

The Cesky Den Royalty

Inside the Fireman’s Community Center is where most of the fun takes place. The polka bands provide plenty of music for dancing, and people love to dance here.

This year we had music by the Musical Brass. They are from Green Bay. Also Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen. They are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Enjoy!

Speaking of dancing, Cesky Den isn’t complete without a performance by the Domaci Dancers, talented children in the community keeping Czech dances in the forefront. I’ve watched the older children grow up over the last 4 years. Now they are helping teach the younger ones. Denise Huntley heads the Domaci Dancers and has done a wonderful job! See this year’s performance below.

You can get your traditional Czech pork dinner here too, it was delicious! Here is the menu.

I got the cookbook they had for sale, recipes for the same food so you can make it at home too! It was only $5.

Photo by Al Kutil

Czech bakery items are also for sale, Kolachy, Rolicky (poppyseed rolls),  and more!

After lunch, we headed over to the craft show. There was also a vest-making free workshop for the kids. We plan on having vests to wear next year!

You can even get a picture behind a cutout, kids too!

The Hillsboro Women’s Civic Club  had a Bake Sale, the pie was yummy!

Everyone is Czech at Cesky Den, Vitamé Vas!

 

 

 

The Heidel House Resort and Spa in Green Lake


9-20-17

The journey to escape stress and tension begins in the friendly community of Green Lake, home of the Heidel House Resort and Spa. This place has a long and rich history, first known as the Kelly Estate in 1890. I took the picture above at Horners Landing in Ripon. This is the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin,  measured at 237 feet deep, 2 miles across and 7 miles long.  We did one scuba dive from this site on 7-22-98, almost 20 years ago. It was time to go back and see more of Green Lake than the bottom.

The reputation of this resort as THE PLACE to be in Wisconsin for a great get-away has spread far and wide and we wanted to see it for ourselves.  The beauty of the resort in early fall with the leaves beginning to change color made us feel welcome immediately.

Photos by Laurie Kutil

After a busy morning exploring the Green Lake area, we were hungry for lunch! We went into the Main Lodge building and enjoyed a great view of the lake in their Sunroom restaurant. See the menus here, this restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, you can get breakfast for lunch if you want!

Photo by Laurie Kutil

There is a self-service cart outside of the restaurant for coffee on-the-go.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

The sunny dining room with a view of the beach and dock. It was a good day to be out on a boat, though a little bit windy.

Photos by Laurie Kutil

Lunch is served!  Our wait staff lady Amber was great answering our questions about the resort and was very attentive, as were all the staff there.  I ordered the Heidel Burger and Al the Fire and Ice Salad. Delicious!

Photos by Laurie Kutil

The resort has three other restaurants, the Boathouse Pub   located below the Sunroom. It is open at 2 PM M-F,  11 AM on the weekend.  There is plenty of seating to enjoy the fresh air off the lake on their large patio.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Lastly, the Pump House Parlor, open limited hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday, cash only.

Also the Grey Rock for fine dining and live music Wednesday through Saturday.

The lodge has many comfortable seating areas.

Photo by Al Kutil

Get a souvenir of your visit at the gift shop.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Did you know you can also have timeshare ownership also?  This is the Hilltop building where you can own a piece of the Heidel House resort for an extended stay. Check for availability.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

There are many options for accommodations for your stay of any length. Enjoy the Lac Verde Lodge with both and indoor and outdoor pool.

Photo by Al Kutil

You can also stay in the main lodge.  Also the Stable House near the lodge.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

The Heidel House is also a great place for weddings, from rehearsal dinner to reception.  The Carriage Tent to protect your party from the elements is available from May-October.

See map of the grounds to see all accommodations available. We didn’t have a chance to see all of them but we plan on returning next year.

A closer look down by the lakefront. This is the walking path outside.

There are a great many mature trees here, providing shade on a hot summer day. This Indian Bean Tree has a large canopy and looks to be at least 100 years old.

Photo by Al Kutil

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Relax on the private beach outside of the main lodge. You can also take a cruise on the yacht Escapade during the summer and fall.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

 Lakeside view from dock.

The Heidel House is a great place to visit any time of the year. Next summer we plan on a cruise on their Escapade boat. Get away from it all at the Heidel House Resort and Spa!

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Mitchell South Dakota – World’s Only Corn Palace


4-24-17

One town we HAD to stop in was Mitchell, South Dakota.  See their visitor guide here.   Stop by the Visitor’s Center across from the Corn Palace. It’s the same building the gift shop is in.

Out front is a sculpture and a plaque. Photos by Al.

 

Corn is the theme of this community. It is even on the bottom of the lampposts downtown.

The World’s Only Corn Palace is a must-see for any visitor to this state. Of course we did! It has been a centerpiece of Mitchell since 1892, still looking brand new with recent renovations.

We arrived at 12:40 after leaving Madison at 5:30 AM. You could see it on your right as you approached downtown, the turrets reaching toward the sky.

The Corn Palace is an entertainment venue, inside is a large auditorium for shows. They were setting it up for a circus performance that  was going to take place that evening.

When you come inside the lobby, friendly volunteers welcome you and have some information available about the Corn Palace and other South Dakota attractions.  The columns inside even look like corn cobs.

On the main floor and the 2nd floor and displays and pictures of the Corn palace years ago. A plaque dedication the “new” Corn Palace upstairs.

The LED lights add an elegant accent above the entrance.

The pictures outside are new every year and are made of corn and other agriculture of South Dakota.  These pictures are on the front of the building.

These are on the right side of the building. Here is this year’s pictures, beginning with Elvis, the largest picture. Then the 5 smaller ones just right of Elvis (click on image to enlarge).

Across the street is the corn palace gift shop and mall and a chance to get a great selfie like we did.

 Stop at the Corn Palace, you will have a great time!