Everyone loves a parade, but my family really loves one parade in particular, The Wanderoos Parade. This small town in Wisconsin has a Fourth of July parade that is known only to the local residents and few outsiders. So how did the Wanderoos parade become such a big event with my family? Well it all started about forty years ago when my sister and brother-in-law bought a farm on the Apple River. This farm became the family gathering place and center for all kinds of activities and a good deal of silliness.
The Wanderoos parade soon became a family foolishness favorite.
In the beginning, we didn't have very much imagination. We rode the horses over to Wanderoos, rode through town and then rode them back to the farm. Sometimes someone would drive the old farm truck decorated with crepe paper with kids in the back.
Then my brother-in-law bought a buggy and drove it in the parade. As we added on so did the rest of the parade.
My husband bought a motorcycle for the kids and one for himself so motorcycles were added as our contribution to the parade.
A newer farm truck was added along with a tractor to a pull trailer. Our creative juices began to flow and we started planning a float. We made costumes and the "Fun, Pun, Joke Float" was born starring Miss Print wearing a dress made out of newspaper.
|Featuring "Sun Dress, Bear Feet, Rein Coat, 10 Gallon Hat"|
|Featuring "Mis print"|
The Amery Free Press (Tuesday, July 10, 1979) featured our float on the front page with the caption: Miss Print and a lady wearing a sun dress enjoyed their tour through Wanderoos on Saturday during the annual Fourth of July observance. The float was entitled, "Fun, Pun, Joke Float."
|Apple River Floating Society|
To understand a little about Wanderoos you have to realize how small the town is, the parade is only about four blocks long. You spend more time in line waiting to go through town, then driving in the parade. Wanderoos had a population of about 20 people back then, but everyone for miles around came to participate or watch this parade.
And then my brother-in-law bought an old fire truck. The kids dressed up, my nephew wired up a sound system that played patriotic songs, and we all piled onto the truck and threw candy to the kids that lined the streets. The parents grew up their kids were having children of their own, new traditions were started, but the Wanderoos parade was still attended every year.
Wanderoos boosts it is the : "Biggest Independence Day Celebration in the area!" This year like every year for the past forty plus years the Kiddies Parade starts the celebration followed by the Grand Parade. There are chicken dinners, kiddie games, a sawdust pile, a horseshoe tournament, softball games, and fireworks at dusk followed by a street dance. They have loads of activities that are fun for all ages. There might even be an old fire truck blasting patriotic songs with a few of the old timers throwing candy.
Wanderoos Independence Day Celebration, July 5, 2014 starting at 10:30 am.