Once a year, on the 4th of July, the bucolic village of Witwen, in southeastern Sauk County, hostís visitors who arrive by the thousands, to experience an old fashioned parade and chicken Bar-B-Q.
This year, Paul Wolter and Bill Schuette representing the Sauk County Historical Society, entered a float in the parade. Arriving at 9 a.m., they saw that over a hundred entrants were already in place as more continued to line the highway leading into Witwen. Having recently taken possession of a model of the Van Orden mansion--the Societyís headquarters--it was the perfect showcase in which to display this handsome creation. Its six sections were quickly assembled on the back of a pickup, flags added and signs installed. The unique thing about this parade is that it was open to anyone who wished to walk, ride, or drive any kind of vehicle. There were no entry fees, and participants lined up in the order in which they arrived.
Crowds began arriving early, and by the time the event got under way, latecomers had to park their cars over a mile and a half away!
The parade began promptly at 10:30, with participants moving slowly down the highway leading in to town. Crowds, some places 2 and 3 people deep, lined the mile-long route. One estimate claimed 2,000 enthusiastic watchers. A great number of children were in evidence, waving and rushing out to pick up candy thrown by passing vehicles.
A delicious chicken bar-b-q was served after the parade in a nearby park, attracting many parade goers.It was a perfect early summer day, and the crowd enjoyed the event to its fullest.