"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
We have gone to many different communities to celebrate Independence Day, but it was a first for Token Creek. It is an unincorporated community located in the town of Windsor. It may be small, but they do July 4th differently, their focus is on honoring Veterans.
The morning began with a Veteran’s Remembrance Ceremony which we attended. Here are the acknowledgements. It was a fitting tribute to the reason we were celebrating to begin with.
See the ceremony below.
After the ceremony we returned downtown where the festivities were just getting started. We were lucky enough to set up across from the center of the action, the parade central area set up by Juke Box Bandstand, hosted by Marc Lovicott.
They are a professional DJ service that work at weddings and community events, providing music where you want it! They did a fantastic job all day. I was especially impressed by how they had songs cued up for each entrant in the parade, I never heard that before. Each group had to provide their own music at other parades we have been to.
Before the parade at 1:00, we visited the stands set up, the Token Creek Lions Club at the center of it all. This amazing group does so much for the community. They provided lunch with a Brat Fry, yum!
Also a raffle with great prizes!
For dessert we enjoyed Kettle Korn by Matty. She donated $1 back to the Lions Club for every bag sold, it was delicious!
The games were about to begin, let’s join in the fun! Children decorated their bikes for the parade.
Next was the hula hoop competition. Then a game I never saw before. Pass the water balloon via toilet plunger backwards to a waiting strainer to catch it in the back. They did a good job! Also some dancing before and after the parade. See all this below.
Parade time is here! We begin with the Presentation of Colors, something I participated in as a Girl Scout. Afterwards, the entire audience participates in a unique tradition called “The Circle of Freedom”. Everyone holds hands and we all sing along with Lee Greenwood’s song called, “God Bless the USA“. It was a very touching experience, this July 4th celebration managed to capture the unity we felt right after 9-11-01. The parade began right after that. See all here.
Not surprisingly our good friend Vi was in the parade. No parade is complete without her. She has the best outfits and biggest American spirit!
We had the best July 4th ever and hope to return next year! This event requires volunteers to keep it running, also donations.
Now for a little humor, the Circle of Freedom reminded me a lot of how the Whos in Whoville sang around the Christmas tree in How the Grinch stole Christmas. I put this concept to life and you will see what I mean.
We had fun, if we can go we will volunteer too next time.
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.
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!
I admit it, it had been years since we have been here. You get into habits of going to the same places and sometimes forget to go to the truly unique destinations.
We heard that Ella’s Deli is for sale. It started a ripple of panic through the city in May. Since the early 1960’s the restaurant has only had one owner, Ella Hirschfeld. She wants to retire and looking for someone to continue the legacy, not close the restaurant. Ella’s was originally on 425 State Street, I remember it in 1984 when I was attending college downtown. This location opened in 1976 and has provided generations of fun for thousands of children, now their grandchildren.
A family-friendly restaurant, there is a carousel ride that opens as soon as the snow stops flying, this year it was March 31. I stopped by there to see it, it’s spring when the carousel is open for rides!
The carousel is made by C.W. Parker, made in Leavensworth, Kansas in 1927. A real beauty! The control booth is pretty too. Ella’s was awarded by the National Carousel Association in 2001 for their work in restoring this beautiful piece of history.
Get a token inside to take a ride at the cashier station. The carousel is $1.50 per rider. If an adult is standing next to a child for safety, the adult rides for free.
The inside has so many things to look at, it’s easy to spend hours there. Learn more about the attractions here. A panorama of the dining room from the entrance.
We took a thorough tour after having lunch and this is the result, see video. A real visual treat!
The food was delicious too, we sat by the window with a carousel view.
Some of the displays, so unique! The rest of them can be seen in the video.
There is a refrigerated case of meats and cheese that you can take home too.
Ella’s is a friendly place we are glad we were here. Even if you are just visiting here for a day, Stopping here should be on your list. You don’t have to be a kid to have fun here!