The Sauk Prairie community will usher in the holiday season Nov. 17 with the annual Holiday Light Parade, Tree Lighting and Fireworks Extravaganza.
While a few, small changes have been made to this year’s event, as usual, the community will be able to line the streets to watch more than 30 parade entrants light up the parade route, which begins at Sauk Prairie Middle School and ends at Marion Park in Prairie du Sac.
“This year we do have some new features,” said MaCall Tourdot, tourism promotions director for the Sauk Prairie Chamber of Commerce. She said changes mostly are focused after the parade ends and the other festivities begin at Marion Park.
“It will be a slightly different setup,” Tourdot said. “We will have the dancers under the pavilion at Marion Park. The décor will be different. But the parade should be a bit stronger this year too, with more entries, different features such as carolers and singers. Otherwise we will hopefully having an awesome fireworks show, if the weather holds out. It will be an all-around great program.”
Tourdot said the parade gives local businesses and organizations a time to shine.
“It should last about 30 to 45 minutes, then it all ends at Marion Park with a show of Christmas songs, and hopefully Santa will be there,” she said.
Tourdot said Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the parade, but isn’t sure if they will make the event at Marion Park.
And of course, weather permitting, there will be the fireworks.
“It’s a great event and I don’t know of any other community, at least in this area, that does something like this,” Tourdot said.
Last year Ballweg Chevrolet Buick in Sauk City entered a replica of Tow Mater from Disney Pixar’s “Cars” movie in the parade.
“Like any community event, this is one of those things that make Sauk Prairie a cool place to live and work,” said Greg Mauch, general manager at the dealership. Mauch said Ballweg has participated in the event for many years, as it gets people out to support local businesses, and in turn, businesses support the community.
“That was just a blast,” Mauch said. “It was great hearing all the kids yelling and recognizing the car.”
He said Tow Mater likely will be back for this year’s parade, and the staff is coming up with ideas to make it even better.
“Now we’re thinking about how to up what we did last year,” Mauch said. “My team is working on what else can we add to make it fun.”
Tom Wipperfurth, president of the Sauk City Fire Department, said the competitive event is something the firefighters enjoy.
“They have started really taking pride in winning because we’ve won a few times now,” Wipperfurth said. “We keep trying to outdo ourselves.”
Wipperfurth said it was easier for the department to decorate one of the bigger trucks when the parade was held on a Saturday. Ever since it’s been held on a Friday evening, the department has shifted its focus to its antique trucks. “Obviously we only have so much time to put work into it,” Wipperfurth said. “Our priority is saving lives and property. And we can’t have a major truck out for twinkle lights.”
Although time constraints and prior commitments are keeping Wyttenbach Meats out of the parade this year, Fritz Wyttenbach said he’s always been amazed at how many people come out to watch the event.
“We’ve had some really cold nights and yet you find people and families standing along curbs waiting and children all bundled up having a good time,” Wyttenbach said. “It’s well-received and has a lot of community support. It has grown to have a nice variety of units, from carolers to bands to businesses. It’s a nice event for the community.”