Muskego — The upcoming 27th Annual Muskego Community Festival with four days of celebrating Muskego's 50th anniversary will be a high-flying event in more ways than one.
Helicopter rides and a zip line will take festival goers high above the city. The helicopter rides will be a first with festival chairman Walter Spitzer suggesting, "You could take a 50th anniversary tour of the city."
"They might even persuade the pilot to give them an aerial view of their homes," he said.
For the more adventurous, a zip line will offer the thrill of riding a 200-foot cable to the ground below, he said.
"I think that will be another interesting thing for the physically agile," Spitzer said.
The zip line will be at the festival on Saturday and Sunday.
The festival will run from Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 21 to 24, at Veterans Memorial Park across from the Muskego City Hall, W182 S8200 Racine Ave.
Organizers say the festival is the largest free outdoor festival in southeastern Wisconsin with food, live musical entertainment and rides.
Every year, the festival has new things.
"Those are the two big ones this year," Spitzer said of the helicopter rides and zip line.
The helicopters will take off from the area north of the Old Settlement Centre at the park. The cost will be about $40 per person, he said. The pilot can only take three passengers at a time, making it the most expensive thing to do at the festival, he said.
The zip line will be on the southeast part of the festival grounds, he said.
The festival will pay tribute to the city's 50th anniversary celebration with a historical display. The anniversary will be the theme of the festival parade. The historical display of old Muskego will be in a tent where the 10 Adirondack chairs created for the 50th anniversary will displayed for a silent auction.
The display will likely include Muskego's role in the Cold War. That was one of the many things that Tracy DeAngelis who heads the anniversary celebration committee said intrigued her as she and the committee delved into the community's history for the celebration. Muskego was the site of two Nike missile installations, she said. Nike missiles were part of the nation's defense against bombers and part of the air defense for certain cities.
"I had heard about it, but it's interesting that Muskego had a piece in the Cold War," DeAngelis said.
The festival will be the highlight of the yearlong citywide celebration of its roots, DeAngelis said. While the celebration will be topped off with a pancake breakfast on Nov. 9, the actual day of the city's incorporation in 1964, Muskego Fest will be the biggest salute to the city's past, she said.
That could be viewed as more than appropriate because the festival started a year before the city did. The festival traces its roots back to Muskego Country Fair Days started in 1963 by the Lembezeder-Cook VFW Post 8171, DeAngelis said. Muskego Country Fair Days was originally held in Horn field and then moved to Janesville Road where Pick 'n Save is today, she said. It later moved to its current location and many community groups now partner with the VFW to present the community celebration, she said.
It has been a great evolution over the years of a wonderful community event, she said.
High bidders will get to take home a bit of Muskego history from the festival in the form of 50th anniversary Adirondack chairs. Each was designed and painted with themes from the city's rich and diverse history. The themes are lakes/parks, recreation, farming, business/industrial, Muskego Beach/DandiLion Park, Muskego Warriors retro logo, Muskego Warriors logo, fishing.
Silent auction bidding will be 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22; noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23; and 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24.
The chairs were created by art students at Muskego High School, Bay Lane and Lake Denoon middle schools and by professional artists Ginny Hilton, Brian Miller and Jeremy Sanders, all whom have connections with Muskego.
The theme of the Sunday parade is 50 Golden Years and the procession will feature all the living former Muskego mayors and current Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti as grand parade marshals. They will all ride on one float.
In addition, all the floats will pay homage to the city's 50 anniversary.
The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday from Lannon and Janesville roads, proceeding west on Janesville to Racine Avenue and then heading into the festival grounds. On Friday and Saturday, 50th Muskego Community Festival Cups will be given away at The Leini Lodge while supplies last.
As always, the festival will get an open from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, with Calkins Midway offering a wristband special and entertainment by the band Down 2 Earth.
The Muskego Teen Idol contest that is usually held on the first day of the festival won't be held this year because of organizational problems, Spitzer said.
"We hope to have it back next year," he said.
At 5 p.m. Friday, the festival officially kicks off with opening ceremonies, carnival rides, Friday fish fry and other offerings in the food court, plus beer and Leinenkugel specialty products. Entertainment will be provided by Press Play, Pink Houses and Georgia Overdrive.
Parking will be available on the festival grounds for $3, and there is street parking.
AT A GLANCE
Muskego Community Festival
Veterans Memorial Park, W182 S8200 Racine Ave.
Thursday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m. opening
6 to 10 p.m. — Calkins Midway wristband special $16
7 to 10 p.m. — Down 2 Earth (food court)
Friday Aug. 22, 5 p.m. opening
5 p.m. — Opening Ceremony
5 p.m. — fish fry (food court)
5 to 11:30 p.m. — carnival rides
5 p.m. to dusk (8 or 8:30 p.m.) – helicopter rides
5 to 7 p.m. — band Press Play (food court)
5 to 8 p.m. — Adirondack chair display and silent auction
7 to 11 p.m. — Pink Houses (Miller Lite Stage)
7:30 to 11:30 p.m. — Georgia Overdrive (MGD Stage)
Saturday, Aug. 23, noon opening
noon to 6 p.m. — Adirondack chair display and silent auction
noon to 11:30 p.m. — rides (wristband special $16 from 1 to 6 p.m.)
noon to dusk — helicopter rides
noon to closing — zip line, stunt jump
12:30 to 3:30 p.m. — Anita's Dance Company (Miller Lite Stage)
3 to 7 p.m. — Playback (food court)
7 to 11 p.m. — Alter Ego (Miller Lite Stage)
7:30 to 11:30 p.m. — The Toys (MGD Stage)
Sunday Aug. 24, noon opening
11 a.m. — festival parade celebrating Muskego's 50th
noon to dusk — helicopter rides
noon to closing — zip line, stunt jump
noon to closing — carnival rides
1 to 2 p.m. — Anita's Dance Company (Miller Lite Stage)
1 to 3 p.m. — Adirondack chair display and silent auction
1 to 4 p.m. — Chris Mariani (MDG Stage)
2 to 3 p.m. — zumba demo with Dina Sharafinski (Miller Lite Stage)
3 to 6 p.m. — Rocky Mountain Oyster Band (food court)
6 p.m. — festival closes
More information at muskegofest.com.
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