Tag Archive | July 4th

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!

Token Creek – Home of the Biggest Little July 4th Parade!


 10-13-17 and other visits

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”.

Juke Box Bandstand provided great music at the Token Creek July 4th celebration. DJ Marc Lovicott did a great job keeping the crowd dancing as well as staging the entertainment and parade. If we needed a DJ service, I would choose them!

Store your stuff at Token Storage.

Take care of your pet at Token Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Back on Portage Rd, visit The Keg.

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.

A man was fly fishing on this beautiful fall day.

A view of the cemetery.

Our last stop today will be Token Creek County Park.

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.

Token Creek July 4th Celebration


7-4-17

 

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.

 

DeForest July 4th Celebration 2016


7-4-16

DeForest Wisconsin sign

Deforest July 4 Schedule

It has been awhile since we had a chance to celebrate Independence Day in DeForest, so we decided to go there. The parade began at 10:30 AM, we got there not long before so seating was scarce.  We found a space on a hill at the school. It was a pretty good vantage point above people’s heads. Here is a video of excerpts from the parade.

Our friend Vi Bergum was in the parade. she moves fast for an 85-year-old!

Vi Bergum in DeForest July 4 parade

The Madison Pipes and Drums always get a lot of cheers! A parade isn’t complete without bagpipes!Madison Pipes and Drums in DeForest parade

Here is a big monster.

John Deere Tractor monster

Read to Honey the Golden Retriever, a Reading Education Assistance Dog.

Read to Honey the Golden Retiever

The Prairie Thunder Cloggers are quite coordinated to be able to dance on a moving truck.

Prairie Thunder Cloggers

The Golden Triangle Drifters Snowmobile Club and their board.

Golden triangle Drifters in DeForest

The Sun Prairie Community Band contributed some tunes to the parade also.

Sun Prairie Community band

A favorite is Wisconsin Scaryland, a local haunted house for the Halloween season. They have a neat bus, complete with smoke, bubbles and a zombie just inside the door. Located in Westport, they also accept volunteers during the busy times.

Wisconsin Scaryland Haunted House bus

After the parade we headed to Fireman’s Park to enjoy the festivities. Fireman's Park in DeForest

Balloons by Doodlebug the Clown, she has entertained the crowds of many of the events we have gone to since 1999!

Doodlebug the Clown

Even a classic car show.

Car show at DeForest

Here is the video of all the fun!

We first enjoyed the DeForest Lion’s Club  famous Chicken Dinner, yum! Your soda is included if you get the dinner.

DeForest WI Lions Club

DeForest Lions Club Chicken Dinner prices

DeForest Lions Club Chicken dinner

When night came, we enjoyed a wonderful fireworks display, put on by Kreuger Pyrotechnics.  Light sticks and other light toys were for sale just before the fireworks by Boy Scout Troop 35.  Even adults were being silly.

Lightsaber battle with light sticks

A great end to our nation’s birthday!

Columbus – The Red Bud City


 

7-4-12 & 1-16-14 & 5-5-16

Redbud Tree and City Hall and sign

Welcome to Columbus! Also known as “The City of Distinction”, this community of 4,991 has many interesting landmarks and historic structures.  Featured above is the City Hall,  built in 1892 and still serves in this capacity. The living landmark as seen in the sign above the Redbud Tree.  They provide a great color accent to the downtown and resident yards in May when they bloom.  Columbus so reveres the tree they have a festival called, “Redbud Days”.

Red Bud days sign at Library

 In 2016 we were not able to come to the festival  but we did stop in to see their beautiful red bud trees. They were EVERYWHERE.  This city really earned it’s monicker “The Red Bud City”.  The sign above was on the lawn of the Columbus Public Library. It is no ordinary library though, it’s a Carnegie Library.  We have seen those in many of the towns we have visited.

Columbus Public Library

We begin our exploration of Columbus with the historic home of former Governor James Taylor Lewis.

Governor Lewis Mansion in Columbus

 

Governor Lewis home side view in Columbus

Governor James Taylor Lewis marker

The mansion is located in a historic district and we took a look at the other beautiful houses on this block and nearby.  Across the street on 147 North Lewis is the Wheeler House, 1870.  Louis Sullivan stayed here while the Farmers and Merchants Union Bank was being built.  President Taft once made a speech from the front balcony of this house too.

Wheeler house in Columbus IMG_6969

The Bellack House, 1897.

Bellack House 1897 IMG_6976

The beautiful Farnham House from 1867 dominates the corner on 553 West James St.

Farnham House IMG_6964

This is the Queen Anne/Tudor Revival House on 314 South Charles, built in 1900.

Chadborne House 1929 IMG_6930

This house that looks like a castle is the Albrech House on 334 South Ludington, built in 1930.  There are a great many more houses, be sure to get the guide book in the Farmers bank to find them all!

Albrech House 1930 IMG_7046

On a hill across the street from the Governor’s mansion is the Columbus historic Chapel Street Water tower,  a prominent landmark.

Columbus Historic Water tower

IMG_0079

The whole downtown is a designated Historic District.  This fact did not escape Hollywood. They chose to film part of the movie “Public Enemies”, released in 2009. Here is a corner panorama of these beautiful buildings.

Downtown Columbus corner panorama

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank is a special centerpiece of Columbus. It is only one of 8 “Jewel Box” banks in the entire United States designed by Louis Sullivan.  The outside of the bank was also featured in the movie Public Enemies. The inside was breathtaking!  One of the associates who was worked there a long time, Anita, gave us a tour of the bank!  On the upper floor is a small museum of bank artifacts.  We found out the beautiful molded “stonework” on the outside is terra cotta, less expensive than carved stonework.  The water fountain no longer works but it is still beautiful.

Farmers and Merchants Union Bank in Columbus

Farmers and Merchants Bank plaque

 

Farmer and Merchant Bank plaque in Columbus

The meeting room.

Farmers and Merchants Union Bank meeting room

Lobby and museum in Historic Mezzanine.

Farmers and Merchants Bank in Columbus collage

The bank also sells a few souveniers to visitors.  You can find the list next to the lamp that Louis Sullivan presented to the bank upon completion. We got the Columbus History and Architecture Tour booklet for $3, proceeds benefiting the Columbus Historical Society.  Thanks Anita for the great tour!

Louis Sullivan Bank gift lamp

A monument across from City Hall pays homage to Civil War soldiers.

Civil War Memorial in Columbus IMG_7274

A piece of personal history, the Town Tap was one of the sponsors of my husband’s sister’s Softball team in the 1970’s.

Town Tap in Columbus

Joretta Town Tap Columbus Softball Team

Kurth Brewery  building is also a landmark here.  They no longer brew beer but its still owned by the family and run a small bar and restaurant there.  The brewery burned down on July 20, 1916 and was not rebuilt. Prohibition began in 1919 and that didn’t help in trying to recover either.   They are open Wednesday and Friday evening from 6-10:30 PM only.

Kurth Brewery building IMG_7090

Kurth Brewery sign in Columbus

Kurth Brewery

The John Henry Kurth House on 902 Park is a 1897 Queen Anne style home.

John Henry Kurth House in Columbus

Columbus is known for its great shopping also, especially antiques.  The largest store in Wisconsin is here, the Columbus Antique Mall, a former canning factory. They are open 8-4 daily, and feature the Christopher Columbus Museum.

Columbus Antique Store Museum

Many artifacts in the museum, including models of the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria. Also, 18 rooms of antiques for sale.  Get there early to see everything, the place is HUGE!

IMG_0328

Columbus Antique Mall inside

We had a great July 4th there in 2012.   People liked getting dressed in their patriotic finest.  We had our picture with this man we met there just before the parade.  The celebration was held at Fireman’s Park afterwards. Lots of fun.  The historic Park Pavilion is 100 years old in 2016.

July 4 in Columbus Patriotic guy

Fireman's Park in Columbus 7-4-12

Columbus also has one of the few Amtrak train stations in Wisconsin.  It once was the Milwaukee Railroad Depot. When we visited in 2016 we were lucky enough to see the train stop by.  The depot was built in 1906. It was the 2nd depot built in Columbus. Notice the brick path?  They may have been laid there at the same time this depot built.  The company that made these brick pavers may have been Purington Brickyard in East Galesburg, IL.  The company that reclaims some of these historic bricks is  Gavin Historical Bricks. Not longer in production since the invention of concrete and asphalt, find these originals over a century old was a great find!  See them close up..

Columbus Amtrak Depot

Purington Brickyard path at Columbus Train Station

Inside the depot are benches from the 1930’s or 40’s.

Amtrak Depot 1930's benches

The ticket window at the front of the room.

Amtrak Depot in Columbus ticket window

The schedule, not much but better than nothing.  At least you can get to St. Paul or Chicago. From there you can connect to other trains going to points elsewhere.

Amtrak Schedule in Columbus

Just a little further down the track is the original depot, built in 1864. It was used for both freight and passengers before the newer one was built.

1864 Columbus depot

We also enjoyed a great Mexican meal at The Columbus Family Restaurant on our 2014 visit.  Our dinners were delicious, it was hard to choose since the menu was quite large.

Columbus Family Restaurant

Also stop at Apple Tree Family Restaurant, it is across the street from Kurth’s. We had a great meal there in 2016 and plan on returning.

Big Apple Tree Family Restaurant in ColumbusBig Apple Tree Family Restaurant sign in Columbus

If you want to cook at home, Columbus also has a Pick n’ Save right off the 151 exit.

Pick n' Save grocery in Columbus

Discover Columbus!  They have it all:  great shopping, rich history and friendly people. Stop by!

Columbus Water Tower 2016

DeForest-The North Star of Dane County


DeForest Wisconsin sign

DeForest is a community of 9000 just north of Madison.  Left of the sign is a Mobile gas station, also the site of the  village’s first well.

DeForest Wisconsin First well historic marker

The DeForest Historical Society has carefully been preserving the history of this village. DeForest WI Depot DeForest Depot Historic Marker

Hansen-Newell-Bennett House

Hansen-Newell-Bennett House

Lyster House

Lyster House

Also the house of Andreas Dahl, formerly of Valdres, Norway. Andreas Dahl Early DeForest Settler Andreas Dahl house

Many businesses also use creative advertising to pull travelers off the highway.  There is a Citgo sporting a LARGE Pink Elephant named Andy.  He wears glasses. Pink elephant 400

Just across the overpass from the station you can refuel on cheese and snacks at Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet. Sissy the Cow is the mascot here. Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet Sissy Cow

DeForest also hosts many restaurants. We enjoyed going to the Sunset Grill in October 2014.

Sunset Grill in DeForest

Our favorite is the Pine Cone, also a truck stop.  Get a great meal here.  The other one is in Johnson Creek. Both open 24 hours.

Pine Cone Truck Stop in DeForest

Also, you can’t miss the big truck out in the strawberry field luring people to come pick them at UPICKSTRAWBERRYFARM. We had a lot of fun there June 24, 2014.

Us and Strawberries

DeForest also goes all out to celebrate July 4th. They have a huge parade and a big celebration

in Fireman’s Park.

. DeForest July 4th DeForest July 4th Parade 2013 DeForest Parade 2013

This was so funny,  we were located by the fire department. The high school football team were spraying the crowd with water guns. One of the firemen grabbed a fire hose and sprayed THEM.  I was desperately shielding my two cameras from the onslaught of water.

Fireman's Park in DeForest

Doodlebug the Clown

Doodlebug the Clown

Fireman’s Park had a lot going on too.

Doodlebug the Clown made many balloon animals and hats for the kids.

The DeForest Lions Club serves up a great Chicken Dinner, we had that too.

DeForest WI Lions Club

DeForest Lions Club

DeForest Wisconsin July 4

Live music , Shotgun Jane performed this year.

Shotgun Jane

We have fun every time we come to DeForest, you will too!

DeForest Wi water tower