Tag Archive | kayak

Wonewoc -The Midpoint of the 400 Trail


6-13-15

IMG_1968Downtown Wonewoc

Wonewoc is a small community of 816 people in Juneau county that plays an important role in the bicycling community by being the half-way point of the 400 State Trail.  The community was originally settled by Yankee colonists from New England. The name Wonewoc means “howling hills”. This is the “driftless area”, untouched by the glacier. George and Lucinda Willard settled here in 1851. The railroad helped build this community, it is no longer here though.

Lets begin by exploring downtown Wonewoc, most buildings are made of red brick here.  I also noticed nearly every storefront was occupied too, a good sign of a healthy economy.  The town keeps the residents informed of local events and supports their business with their Facebook page, Wonewoc Main Street Merchants.

Downtown Wonewoc

The first store on our left is Beyond Boundaries, LLC (formerly Talg’s Feed Mill, over 100 years old!). They rent canoes, kayaks and bikes. The Baraboo River flows through town a short distance from here and helped power early industry. Across the street from Beyond Boundaries is the Veterans Memorial.

Wonewoc Vets Memorial

The other business on this side of the block is Degner’s Corner Bar, also serving food.

Degner's Corner Bar in Wonewoc

We begin the 2nd block on the right side.

2nd Block of downtown Wonewoc

The side street is Washington Street, where we find the original City Hall building.

1916 City Hall building in Wonewoc

I even found a plaque recognizing all the people and organizations that helped re-vitalize downtown. Also a great mural.

Center Street Renovation in Wonewoc

Wonewoc mural

We come to the other end of the street and Old Blue’s Pizzeria and the Wonewoc Bakery. I stopped in the bakery and got 6 doughnuts, only $3.60 and very good!  The owners are very friendly and would love it if you stopped by. Here are their hours.

Wonewoc Bakery and Old Blues Pizzeria

Wonewoc Bakery insideWonewoc Bakery Hours

On the other side from here are:

 Blossoms and Bouquets FTD Florist, Britnics Café, The Mayer’s Off Ice, Center Street Coffee and Treats, The Silent Rooster, the Post office, and Bernie’s Wagon Wheel II.

Downtown Wonewoc 2nd block

As you see, a great many stores and restaurants.

Wonewoc was also home to noted Dode Fisk, gravestone monument located in Pine Eden Cemetery at the edge of town. He owned a circus and traveled the country.

Fisk Monument in Wonewoc

Now for the 400 trail. Just behind downtown is the trail, with a depot, restrooms and signage listing the downtown businesses. Hungry bikers will have plenty of options for refreshment at this convenient midpoint.

The 400 Trail in Wonewoc

Wonewoc sign on 400 Trail

Wonewoc History and Map sign

Our final destination here is the Canoe Landing. This used to be where the mills were located, powered by the Baraboo River. It is now called “The Lost District”, where Wonewoc Began.

Canoe Landing in Wonewoc

Wonowoc Lost District sign

That summarizes our visit to Wonewoc. We look forward to our return, perhaps at one of their many festivals.

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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