Skydivers will land on four different blocks along Broadway Street to help mark the traditional end of summer at this year’s Wo-Zha-Wa Fall Festival in Wisconsin Dells.
The annual event that takes place Friday through Sunday in the city’s downtown will feature more than 200 artists in Bowman Park and one of the state’s largest parades.
Here’s a look at this year’s event:
Arts and crafts
Two hundred artisans will be setting up booths in Bowman Park, and among items featured will be acrylic paintings by Phil Rego, an award winning Madison artist, and Tim Kobs from Baraboo, who specializes in fantasy paintings.
There will be 50 new artisans at the event this year.
The arts and crafts fair will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
There also will be an antique flea market from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
The 45th running of Wisconsin’s oldest long distance race will be on Saturday with the Wo-Zha-Wa run of a half-marathon and four-mile courses. Both races begin at 8 a.m. with start and finish at Wisconsin Dells High School, 520 Race St.
Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. Entry fee is $40. Register online at www.wozhawarun.com.
The annual Wo-Zha-Wa parade will begin with skydivers landing along Broadway and will feature seven new units this year.
The 75-unit parade begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Units line up along Washington Avenue and head toward Broadway Street to Vine Street.
Before the parade starts, Holiday Wholesale employees and characters will be throwing candy to children. Floats and groups are not allowed to throw candy or other items to spectators to prevent children or others from getting hurt.
New groups in the parade this year include Laura’s School of Dance, Schuttlebutt and Safari Sam Johnson, Zor Shriner Midgets, Good Old Boys, Madison Mallards, T.J. Howell’s Rocket Cycle and Showboat Saloon.
With so many people attending the parade, parking is always a challenge.
Parking will be available at Wisconsin Dells High School at Race and Iowa streets. The cost is $5 and includes a free Duck ride to Bowman Park.
This year’s parade marshals include Lake Delton resident Donna Braun.
At 90 years old, Braun has spent almost her entire life living in Lake Delton, and she operates Braun’s Happy Landing Antique Shop on North Judson Street out of her home and the former motel.
“I’m happy to be in the parade because I consider the Dells a beautiful historic town and my home,” she said.
When Braun was 5 years old her family moved to the Wisconsin Dells area.
As a child she recalled swimming, skating and picnicking in the area. In 1939 she said she was homecoming queen, the festivities for which had a Hawaiian theme.
Braun said one of her own hobbies is to collect dolls. Her collection dates back to the Civil War, she said.
Joining her as a parade marshal will be Larry Neal who has worked alongside the Wo-Zha-Wa parade for many years, but until this year he has never had the chance to be in the parade.
Neal moved to the Dells with his wife Mary from Illinois more than 40 years ago, and he credits her for the move. He said after visiting the area on multiple occasions he liked the feel of the area.
It’s like the small town he grew up in, Neal said. “I got to know people by sight. Everyone is always friendly.”
— Capital Newspapers