"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 :)
Wow, what a great summer! I don’t think we could have packed much more in. Wisconsinites tend to start summer in May since there is so much going on and warm days don’t last long. We were no exception. Our summer began May 13 with our trip to Cedarburg.
Cottage Grove is a community of 3,700 sixteen miles from Madison. Not only does my brother and his wife live here, they have many fun events we enjoy going to. It also has an active Historical Society located in Flynn Hall, a historic building adjacent to Fireman’s Park. Its main function was Town Hall, it was built in 1900 and in 2010 celebrated its 110th Anniversary. The building now houses the Cottage Grove Lions Club and the Cottage Grove Historical Society.
For appointments to see the historical society room and its contents, call her at 839-4470.
The Granger Movement also had a foothold here, a political group that formed after the Civil War.
One of Cottage Grove’s big events is the Hog Day Breakfast in Flynn Hall on or close to Groundhog Day. It’s a fundraiser for the Lions Club. A black pig named Sir Arthurpredicts spring’s arrival. A yummy breakfast is also served.
A couple friends of ours in the Lion’s club, Tod and Darlene Bernarde, act as the VIP’s at this event and take Sir Arthur outside to see if he sees his shadow. We posed for a picture together too that showed up in a newspaper article about this fun event.
Photo by Herald-Independent
In the early summer, the Fireman’s Festival is a big draw. It kicks off with the Hot 2 Trot Run/Walk to raise money for the volunteer fire department. We ran in 2012 and Photographer Mindy ? took our picture near the finish line (gave permission to use). Then a big parade was next. Here is the parade from 2013.
This day is pretty popular in the USA, especially Punxatawney, Pennsylvania and right here in Wisconsin. Nearly every year we go to Sun Prairie which is only a few miles from where we live in Madison. They have a real groundhog named Jimmy, it was the 65th year of Jimmy predicting how the rest of winter is going to go. My husband I went and had a lot of fun! He predicted an early spring.
Going hog wild 🙂 Not to be outdone by the Sun Prairie festivities, we headed south down to the town of Cottage Grove for their Groundhog day Lion’s Club fundraising breakfast. It’s held at Flynn Hall, which also houses the town historical society.
They have their own weather prognosticator, a black teacup pig named Sir Arthur. Here he is resting after his prediction of an early spring.
The hosts of this event are Boss Hog and Queen Hog (Darlene and Todd Bernarde, members of the Cottage Grove Lions Club. They were gracious to take a picture with us, and the picture got into their newspaper!
We had a great time and hope to go next year. We had a snowstorm last night so I hope it’s spring soon!