Tag Archive | corn

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!

 

 

Fall Color Tour 2014- Baraboo Area


9-29-14

Our travels had us all over Wisconsin this year, but we didn’t make it up to Baraboo the whole summer. We finally made it for fall. We knew it wasn’t peak yet but still knew we would find some bright colors since the trees don’t all change at once. We had to leave the house at dawn to get an errand done in north Sun Prairie and caught a beautiful sunrise there. I think sunrises in fall are the prettiest!

Sun Prairie Sunrise Corn Harvest

Our errand done, we headed toward Baraboo, the farmers were up and harvesting their crops by the time we got on the road. Here is a shot from the window of harvesting corn, probably field corn for the animals. We  approached  Portage and saw Cascade Mountain on the other side of the highway. We remembered our visit there last winter and hoped to go there this upcoming winter.

Cascade Mountain in Portage

Country house in Baraboo

 

Baraboo Hills house

Cabin in the woods

We saw many country scenes like these on the way. We had reached the Baraboo Hills and saw an explosion of color!

Fall trees in Baraboo

 

Our first stop was Ski-Hi Fruit Farm, now open for the season with apples and other fall produce. You can’t miss the Apple sign guiding you there from highway 12.  We got there in time to see them sorting and bagging apples for sale. We bought a bag of Courtland apples.

 

Ski-Hi Fruit Farm

Apple processing at Ski-Hi in Baraboo

The colors were brilliant in the hills near the orchard.

Ski-Hi Fruit Farm fall view

Baraboo Hill fall color

 

We headed out, turning right toward Devil’s Lake State Park. What a view!

Country road in Baraboo

 

We decide to visit the North Shore first, there is often brilliant color in this area. We weren’t disappointed!

Devil's Lake sign

 

Orange tree at Devil's lake

Trees at Devil's Lake in Baraboo

We walked around to near the other shelter and boat launch area, what a view of the west bluff side of the lake.

Al and Laurie joined pic DL

Devil's Lake lodge

After exploring here, we went hiking at nearby Steinke Basin, one of our favorite hikes that is fairly flat and beautiful. It is outlined in green. Bright colors here too.

Steinke Basin Trails

Steinke Basin fall color

 

We call this “The Enchanted Forest” because it is so beautiful.

Enchanted Forest at Steinke Basin

 We wind our way back towards our car after such an enjoyable hike at one of our favorite state parks.

Fall Color at Steinke Basin at Devil's Lake

Fall color at Steinke Basin

 

We enjoyed our outing and have enjoyed coming here all seasons of the year.

Beckman Mill-Heritage Day Festival in Beloit


9-8-13

Beckman Mill and Covered Bridge

Beckman Mill Marker

We time-traveled to the 1800’s to historic Beckman Mill in Beloit to enjoy some old-fashioned demos of skills used before high-tech and mass production.  The Amish help keep some of these crafts alive today. The centerpiece of this historic site is of course Beckman Mill, a grist mill that is still using the original millstones to grind mainly corn.  The covered bridge is a more recent addition and is quite popular!  The mill stream powers it, and this mill doesn’t use a waterwheel. Turbines inside do the turning of the grindstone. Enjoy this demonstration of the mill in action!

Buzz Beckman of the Beckman family was there and posed for a picture with us! The building behind us was where the Beckman family once lived, now it houses exhibits.

Buzz Beckman and us

We also enjoyed watching  the blacksmith making tools.

Beckman Mill Blacksmith

Another man was making flint arrowheads, wow!

IMG_0419

Some vendors were also there that incorporated these 1800’s skills. A broom-maker had many beautiful brooms for sale.

Broom Maker

Another vendor,Terri Dodge of Double D’s B’s of Beloit (608-365-1646) sold wonderful hand-crafted soap that smelled wonderful!  We got some! They also sell honey.  Also some beautiful pottery, some was even being made as we watched! The little girl on the left won first-place in the Laura Ingalls Wilder contest at the festival.

Double D's B's

Pottery Demo at Beckman Mill, Beloit

President Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd were visiting the mill also.  They gave a 10-minute presentation in character.  They are played by Jerry and Judy Wubbena of South Beloit, Il.  Contact them for your event, 815-389-8829. 

Present Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd

We were also entertained by the Mill Road Band, playing tunes to get your feet tapping. Also dulcimer players, they played a song from Lincoln’s campaign before their presentation.

Mill Pond Band Beloit

Duclimer Players and Lincolns

The festival also featured a classic car show and wagon rides.

Horse -Drawn Rides

For an old-fashioned good time, come to Beckman Mill. They are open from May-October, mill tours on weekends.  Don’t forget a souvenier from the gift shop, your purchase supports the site’s continued operation!

Beckman Mill Gift Shop

Covered bridge at Beckman Mill

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Johnsonville’s World’s Largest Brat Fest – Metcalfe’s in Madison


Every Memorial Day weekend from Fri-Monday

Brat Fest has been an annual event in Madison since 1983.  The first Brat Fest consisted of one grill and one drink stand.  Late owner Tom Metcalfe is seen here at the grill. Now in the 2000’s, his sons Tim and Kevin run the event.

Photo by Metcalfe’s at Hilldale

The host grocery store is Metcalfe’s. In the beginning, there was only one Metcalfe’s store, located at the Hilldale shopping center just outside. It could still fit in the store parking lot, and the event was on Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Here is how it looked in 2002.

 

In 2005, it relocated to Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center.   It then scaled back to Memorial day weekend only. The venue added music and a carnival in this much larger space. A great many charities raise funds working at Brat Fest, my husband and I volunteer to assist the two organizations we are affiliated with.

The organizations we assist are NewBridge and/or the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin.

It’s so much fun too, and we enjoy grilling best of all of the volunteer jobs they have. Here we are in 2013.

Let’s go down memory lane, these picture was from Labor Day weekend in 2002, when it was held in the Hilldale parking lot. it got too big for that and moved to Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center.  However, it is only on Memorial Day weekend after the move.    Every year they try to set a new record with the number of bratwursts sold.  The brand is Johnsonville.

In 2019, Field Roast Plant-Based Bratwurst for vegans. Boar’s Head 1/4 lb Uncured Pork & Beef Hot Dog for non-Brat eaters.

Tent_006_5

Here are more recent photos of Brat Fest.  This is looking across to Willow Island.

BratFestacross

The Weinermobile used to be there too, not recently though since they no longer serve this brand of hot dogs.

Weinermobile 2012 Bratfest

In the early years at Willow Island, Johnsonville brings their “World’s Largest Grill” to show off. Very cool! This was in 2006. That year they took pictures of you in front of the grill with a Polaroid.

BigTasteGrill

Big Taste Grill facts

Laurie & Al 06 sm

This the brat Tent where all the brats are sold.

Brat Tent

Behind the tent are many grillers working hard.  I am usually put in charge of the veggie brats since I am so careful with them.

Grillers

Condiment tent, everything including sauerkraut, onions, relish and ketchup and many flavors of mustard. Yum!

condimentsBrats

whatsonyourbratwurst

A new addition a few years ago, roasted corn.  Not local corn, that’s not until July/August. Still yummy though. Al posed with the Corn Lady. And here we are last year posing with a friend of ours.

Roasted cornCorn Lady and Al

Selfie with friend at Brat Fest 2014

Get your mementos here at the Brat Gear tent. There are new items here every year.

Brat Gear

A special ice cream is also sold just at Brat Fest by Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Bratfest Cookie Dough. Delicious!

BratFestcookieDoughsigncookiedough

There is not just great food here, there is also a carnival and four music stages as well as fair food at the carnival located in the parking lot.

musicstageCarnival at Brat Fest in Madison

Even the Budweiser Clydesdales stop by occasionally. You won’t leave here hungry or un-entertained!

Clydesdales at Brat Fest

They also came in 2017 and 2018, see the video of them going by!

Sometimes kayaking for the kids by Rutabaga.

Rutabaga Kayak

See video of some of the action in 2017.

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In 2018, we enjoyed the fireworks display for the first time! Laurie managed to go all four days this year and recorded A LOT of performances.

The Trinity Irish Dancers put on a great show!

Another favorite group of ours is Mighty Wheelhouse.

The Swing Crew from the Wisconsin Dells, a funny group!

Traditional music from Mexico by Mariachi Monarcas, from Milwaukee.

We hope you had fun, see you next year!

ThankyouBrat Fest Bench

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