Delavan celebrating its history, culture at Heritage Fest
DELAVAN—For the next four days, Delavan will celebrate Delavan. Or rather it will celebrate the people whose histories made the city what it is today.
Those people include Native Americans, circus folks, artists, Civil War soldiers and the families they left behind, the Lake Lawn Resort community, sturdy New Englanders and immigrants from Mexico, Central America, the Netherlands and beyond.
Delavan's annual Heritage Fest is a celebration of culture that includes music, food, art and demonstrations. This year's event comes about two months after a group of artists, the Walldogs, descended on the city, spending three days transforming blank walls into murals that honor the city's rich history and culture.
“One of the hooks we're using is, 'During the Walldogs event, you got to see history and culture being painted on a wall. Now you get to experience it live,'” said Dave Block, Heritage Fest organizer.
Unusual events this year include:
A performance by a Civil War band: “The band plays Civil on antique, Civil-War era instruments,” Block explained.
Called the First Brigade Band, the group will perform background music for the dedication of the Civil War Monument at Spring Grove Cemetery, at a concert, and for Saturday night’s ball at the Phoenix Park Bandshell.
The return of the circus: Delavan used to be the winter home for circuses from across the country. After a year’s absence, festival organizers decided to bring the circus back.
Shows will feature a mixture of circus act standbys such as clowns, performing dogs, trapeze artists and “the motorcycle globe of death.” You saw the latter in “The Simpsons Movie,” and now you can see it live.
Also new this year is Cirque du Soleil veteran Luis Miguel Terry, who will display the art of “bounce juggling.”
Trolley and boat tours: Tours of the city’s architectural and historic highlights aren’t new this year, but they have been expanded, Block said.
Delavan has one of the country’s largest collections of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes. Unfortunately, they only can be seen from the lake. Along with several trolley tours of the city’s architectural wonders, the event also will include three boat tours of area lake homes.
Tours of the Wisconsin School for the Deaf also are planned.
Geocaching: For families that want to do something together, organizers have created a geocaching adventure that continues through the weekend. Each hidden treasure is somehow linked to Delavan’s history or culture.
HERITAGE FEST EVENTS
Activities and events will be held at these locations throughout Delavan:
--Phoenix Park Bandstand, one block south of East Walworth Avenue/Highway 11 between Second and Main streets.
--Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 East Geneva St., just off Highway 50.
--Aram Public Library, 404 E. Walworth Ave.
--Brick Street Market, 116 E. Walworth Ave..
All programs are free unless otherwise indicated.
Ongoing Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 27-30
--Geocache adventure around Delavan. The hunt starts at one of three registration sites: Aram Public Library; Remember When, 313 E. Walworth Ave., and Brick Street Market.
--Self-guided tours of downtown, including architectural history and information about the recently painted historical murals. Booklets will be available throughout downtown.
--Cultural fair featuring food, art and presentations in Phoenix Park.
--Art displays at Brick Street Market and Aram Public Library.
Thursday, Aug. 27
--1:30 p.m.: Circus camp for kids, Aram Public Library.
--5:30 p.m.: “The Essential P.T. Barnum,” presented by William Pack. Learn more about the life of circus showman P.T. Barnum through storytelling and re-creations of historical sideshow performances. Best for teens and adults. Phoenix Park.
--7 p.m.: La Luz del Mundo band, Phoenix Park.
Friday, Aug. 28
--10 a.m.: Tour of Wisconsin School for Deaf, 309 W. Walworth Ave. Registration required. Call 262 728-3111.
--1 p.m.: Trolley tour of Delavan’s historic sites and gardens, starting at Lake Lawn Resort.
--1:30 p.m.: Civil War reenactor Mike Wozney. Program is for all ages. Aram Public Library.
--5 p.m.: Dangerous Folk band, Phoenix Park.
--7 p.m.: Swing dance lessons, Phoenix Park.
--7:30 p.m.: Ladies Must Swing band, Phoenix Park.
Saturday, Aug. 29
--11 a.m.: Civil War sesquicentennial dedication, Spring Grove Cemetery, at the end of North 7th Street. Self-guided tours also will be available.
--11 a.m.: Combination architectural and boat tour. Tour starts at Lake Lawn Resort and goes throughout Delavan. Lunch will be available for a discounted rate at Lake Lawn Resort. After lunch, the tour will include a boat trip to see homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright along Delavan Lake. Trolley ride is free, but boat tour is $10.
--11 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Tour of Wisconsin School for Deaf, 309 W. Walworth Ave. Registration required. Call 262 728-3111.
--1 p.m.: Trolley tour of Delavan historic sites and gardens, starting at Lake Lawn Resort.
--2 and 5 p.m.: Carson Barnes Circus performances, Lake Lawn Resort. Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for children.
--3 p.m.: 1st Brigade Band concert, Phoenix Park
--5 p.m.: Ballet Folklorico Nacional dance performance, Phoenix Park.
--7 p.m.: 1st Brigade Ball, Phoenix Park.
Sunday, Aug. 30
--9 a.m. and 1 p.m.: Boat ride tour of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright along Delavan Lake, starting at Lake Lawn Resort. Tour is $10 and requires advance registration. Call 262 725-9200.
--11 a.m.: Trolley tour of Delavan’s historic sites and gardens, starting at Lake Lawn Resort.
--1 p.m.: The Hollands band, Phoenix Park.
--2 and 5 p.m.: Carson Barnes Circus performance, Lake Lawn Resort. Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for children.
--3 p.m.: Dixie Doodlers band Phoenix Park.