"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 :)
It may be winter outside but inside it’s spring at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The turnout was high at this popular event. There even was musical accompaniment by the Collage saxophone Quartet. You can hire them to play at your venue!
The Conservatory was inviting with 80ºF temps inside.
Let’s go into the exhibition room, so beautiful!
Large display, so many varieties!
After enjoying these orchids, there was another room with vendors selling them too.
Not only orchids were for sale, also orchid themed mementos. Pictures by Charlotte Fung Miller, Chinese Brush Art.
After our delicious breakfast we went to the sugaring camp a short distance away. Over 1000 people came to this event and about 700 had breakfast too.
The weather was rather interesting, it alternated between white out and sunshine, sometime both at the same time!
Set up in the camp was a large portable Ho-Chunk Indian home called a Ciporoke, it was put to the test today with the high winds and it didn’t budge. It was constructed in January so it has stood most of the winter.
We went inside and learned more about it and saw some animal pelts and tools used by the Ho-Chunk. A docent inside answered the questions from the many visitors, very interesting! Let’s listen in.
The views inside, tools and pelts on display.
Nearby were three large iron kettles boiling sap as they did in the late 19th century. Another volunteer was showing the various products that can be made from sap. Also a demo of carrying two buckets of sap using a yoke.
This part of the festival was real fun, eating ice cream topped with maple syrup made by an antique steam engine! Let’s see it in action!
Great ice cream too, cold and snow doesn’t stop Wisconsinites from enjoying that any time!
After our treat we visited the Maple Syrup finishing House, where larger quantities of sap were boiled than in the iron kettles. It was a wood-burning unit and it warmed the room nicely! On our first visit in 2012 was when we saw it cold.
We also learned pickles and syrup go well together, never know that!
This was a real fun festival and we are so glad we were able to go this year!