"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 :)
Token Creek is an unincorporated community that is part of the village of Windsor. The town of Burke also has some sections here as well. We are going explore Token Creek, past and present.
We had the pleasure of celebrating July 4th here in 2017, so much fun! They distill July 4th to the basics, honoring all veterans , joining family and community together for a day of fun. A favorite tradition is holding hands and singing along to Lee Greenwood’s famous song, God Bless the USA. They call it the “Circle of Freedom”. See it here.
Token Creek also has many businesses on Portage Road and Highway 19. A popular restaurant is on the corner of Hwy 19 and Portage Rd is the Paddle Inn. We need to eat there sometime.
Turn right at the corner and you find several more.
Gentle Breezes Hot Air Balloons has been giving you a ride to remember since 1990. Before that there was a different balloon company here called Token Creek Balloons, different ownership. At one time, the water tower near our home was painted with their logo. It now is blue and says “DeForest”.
Next is the parks, Token Creek cares about the wildlife in the are and makes sure they have a place here too. Token Creek itself is still a work in progress. Across 19 from Portage road is a sign about that.
Continue down the road and you will get to the Token Creek Conservancy, where the old grist mill used to be.
At this pond behind the sign, only the disabled are allowed to fish here. Just beyond this sign is the Token Creek marker you see at the top of the page.
A little past here is more of the park and the cemetery where the Veteran’s Remembrance Ceremony was held on July 4th. First the bridge over the creek.
The mill used to be in this area, now a beautiful park. To the left of the parking lot is the cemetery.
Keep walking streight ahead through the parking lot and you will soon come upon a bridge over the creek. Also a plaque on a rock to the right of the bridge.
Here you will find the other marker in Token Creek, near the park entrance.
You can camp here too.
Enjoy the pine forest with many mature trees.
I enjoyed my visits to Token Creek. To learn more about the community in the 19th and 20th centuries, I have a copy of this book, Token Creek by Mae Bork. The book is now out of print, but I found a copy here if you are interested.
This was the first time Al and I went to the Knickerbocker Ice Festival in Lake Mills. We started the fun at Rock Lake by taking a look at Icehenge, a take-off of Stonehenge. We made the mistake of not stopping by right after they finished it in late January, the warm weather over the last 5 days took its toll. Read more about it here.
The Fisheree was going on too, somebody was drilling a hole in the ice nearby to fish in. We found a cute fishing shack downtown promoting the Fisheree.
After visiting Icehenge we went downtown to the square (actually a triangle) to see all the activity going on there. We could hear the sound of multiple chainsaws as the ice sculptors were making their creations. Lets watch them!
We enjoyed a great lunch at Cafe On the Park, under new ownership as of 2015. They are open 6-2 daily. Al had a prime rib sandwich and I had a breaded chicken sandwich. Delicious!
The park sure was busy by 12:30!
There was a big ice skating party going on in the park, small children were being pushed in chairs.
There was also target practice with tennis balls for safety. Also to aid the kids to throw snowballs with greater accuracy 🙂
Some other kids were building a wood castle, complete with flags.
It was now 1:00, and it looks like most of the ice sculptures were getting finished. My personal favorite 3 carvings.
The Lewis carving even had little wine bottles, cute!
The Eskimo was especially fun, since this one was interactive and we could take a fun selfie with it.
Other ice sculptures of note.
We had a wonderful time at this festival and got further reinforcement that Wisconsinites love festivals in any setting the whole year around.
Port Washington is a charming harbor community of 11,500 on the shores of Lake Michigan, about 30 miles north of Milwaukee. Al was here when he was a teen, but I had never been there before. Port Washington also is part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, something we hope to do someday. We had already been to several cities on the tour: Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Sturgeon Bay. It was time for lunch, and we saw a Brat(wurst) Fry in a parking lot. We stopped and got a couple.
This Brat Fry was put on by the Port Gridiron Club. They were delicious! Thanks guys for a great lunch 🙂
Lunch done, we headed to the 1860 Light Station and Museum on St. Mary’s Hill. The view offered a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, looking blue as the ocean.
We also took a look at St. Mary’s Church, a beautiful church that overlooks the city’s historic downtown.
We went down the hill to see downtown and the Breakwater Light House. You can see the church overlooking downtown.
As we walked toward the Marina, we saw this historic marker.
A view of the Marina, with the control building in view. There are many Fishing Charters for hire. In fact, we saw a boat full of fishermen heading out into the lake.
Afternoon or a cloudy day is the best time to see the light house so the sun hits the west side of it. It contrasted with the blue sky perfectly!
Our last stop was Bernie’s Fine Meats, great meats made on site. Brats and sausages for the grill! Friendly staff there, they will happy slice meat to order 🙂 Also a selection of wine and beer. We got a pound of summer sausage to bring home, yum!
We enjoyed our visit to Port Washington and the quaint Marine atmosphere made us feel right at home.
Kenosha is a bustling city of 100,000 located on the shores of Lake Michigan with a lot for their citizens and visitors to do the year around. We had a full day planned and arrived by 9 AM. Our first stop was Harbor Park by the lake, with great views of the two lighthouses there. The red one is the North Pier Light and the stone one is the Southport. We also had the great luck of watching a Coast Guard boat head out to the lake, passing by the Southport lighthouse.
Harbor Park also has lots of great sculptures to look at too along the harbor walk. This called, “Rotating Through the Universe” by Paul Bobrowitz, Jr.
We had a great lunch here and will come back again. There were a couple more hours before the main event we came here for, so we then headed to the Kenosha Public Museum to enjoy their free public holiday celebration. The Museum is a must-see place in Kenosha.
They had a Christmas Village model train display, beautiful!
The Sons of Norway provides live music, singing traditional Christmas Carols.
The best part of all, we managed to get on Kenosha TV via their Public TV station, KTV. They had a TV camera set, recording people sending their holiday greetings to Kenosha. We had to join the fun! Here is a screencap of the video. In honor of Bob and Doug McKenzie of the Great White North, I made our picture look like theirs.
And NOW, for the main event. At about 2:30 we arrived at Diver Dan’s Scuba and Aquatic Center for our Underwater Santa Christmas photo. They have a warm-water pool on site. This event benefits a local charity, you donate something in exchange for the photo which they put on Facebook.