Tag Archives: parades

Happy Oktoberfest!

150,000 some people flock to the streets of La Crosse, Wisconsin over the next 2 weeks for the United States’ biggest German festival, Oktoberfest.  Streets are blocked off, extra police come in, there are no less than 3 parades and everyone is out celebrating!

This past saturday was the Maple Leaf Parade, a parade that lasts for almost 4 hours!  Every area beauty queen is riding a float and waving by, several marching bands, radio stations, military branches, all the international students carrying their country’s flag, political party volunteers, AND even the Canadian Oktoberfesters make an appearance in OUR parade!

It’s common for ‘festers’ to dress up, typically in German clothing, but any costume is considered good spirit!  Here are a few snapshots from this year’s Maple Leaf Parade!  Hope you enjoy!

Loved these women festing across the street from us. I simply HAD to meet them!

Before the parade, many people participated in a half marathon run/walk – including one local firefighter in full gear!

The Pre-Parade Camp Out. Joe and I saving spots.

Does your town have a giant motorized shopping cart people can ride in?

German dancers

Pom Squads

Marching Bands

Joe and I in our matching Lumberjack Costumes!

More dirndls – the German dress worn by women.

Locomotives on the parade route!

And of course, a fair amount of accordian music!

Will you be festing this week?  What the best parade you’ve ever been to?

But wait, there are winners!  Thank you to everyone who commented on my interview with author Michael Perry.  I’m glad his words connected with so many of you!  The 3 lucky winners of his newest book, Visiting Tom, are Viola Fury, Mark Petruska, and Kathleen Hoeper!

The Guilty Pleasures of Autumn

Welcome to another edition of Guilty Pleasures Friday! Indulge yourself, get cozy, here all gluttony reigns! I won’t tell on you.

For the month of October, I’m focusing on all things wicked. So today’s guilty pleasures are my top 10 favorite things about fall.

  1. The Desire to Spend Copious Amounts of Money on Pumpkins  I’ve never met a pumpkin I didn’t like. Big ones, baby ones, spotted ones, warty ones, pumpkins with curlicue stems! They are a fall tradition and welcomed inside and out. Sometimes, I name them, a bizarre habit to be sure, but one I refuse to give up.
  2. The Urge After Purchasing Pumpkins to Consume Them in Multiple Forms     Pumpkin Bars. Glorious pumpkin bars, the birthday treat of choice for this redhead. Then there’s pumpkin spice lattes and roasted pumpkin seeds, and I’m also a fan of their cousin, the Butternut Squash.
  3. The Decking Out of Houses: From Home Sweet Home to Enter At Your Own Risk  I love seeing the houses that put gravestones in their yard, stick bones out of their lawn, and make dummies out of old clothes. Nothing is as fun as giving yourself a little chill walking up to your own front door.
  4. The Expectation of Shenanigans and the Increase in Security That Follows   Late night runs through a corn field telling ghost stories with friends! Getting kicked out of Paradise Road! Scaring unsuspecting strangers with motion sensing Halloween décor and creating really good alibis when the police pull your car over and ask what you’re doing out so late.
  5. Apple Picking: Not Scary, but Good Old Fashioned Recreational Fun  Grab a basket and pick your very own tangy sweet apples. Stock up the pantry with a local orchard’s cider, apple crisp, and handmade caramel drizzle. Mmmm
  6. Tea Drinking Season: Not Just For School Marms Anymore  Every day is a tea drinking day in the fall. Green Tea in the morning, pomegranate oolong in the afternoon, peppermint tea at night. This charming habit is made even more fun with a big, funky mug collection. My favorite coffee shop in town is a teeny tiny shop that has the biggest selection of actual dried tea leaves, they brew you a whole cozy pot to yourself and let you pick your tea cup!
  7. The Bizarre Fashions That Become Acceptable  Bring out your flannel, put on some gloves, and grab your flip flops! What’s that you say? One of those things is not like the other? Doesn’t matter in autumn, the weather changes so fast, you may as well keep your dresser stocked: Long sleeve shirts, rainboots, tank tops, corduroys, wool socks, ear muffs and a bathing suit.
  8. The Hibernation of the Human Race  Once the weather gets a little chillier, suddenly people start to     disappear into their houses, the windows get boarded up, and you don’t seen your neighbor bring the trash out for weeks. You question whether you should call the police and have her checked on, but there’s smoke coming from the chimney and a faint flicker of blue TV light every Thursday at 7pm. Give her another week…
  9. The Beer, Brats, and Polka Bands  Autumn brings Oktoberfest to my town and that means brats with sauerkraut, beer and drinking gloves, and lots of live music and parades.  The big parade is the Maple Leaf Parade and there’s one at night too called the Torch Light Parade.  I went to that for the first time this year and it was really fun.  All the marching bands are decked out with glowsticks, even on their instruments.  And, you can drink on the sidewalk of the parade route.  *Weeeeeeeee!*
  10. The Changing of the Colors  The best part about fall is the colors.  And living in Bluff Country, we certainly get to enjoy a multitude.  There’s nothing quite like sitting on the edge of the bluff overlooking the adjacent forest, marsh and city below, ablaze in fall colors.  Joe and I went hiking this weekend and here’s some shots I took along the way!

Overlooking Myrick Marsh

Wish You Were Here, Love Jess and Joe

What are your favorite things about fall?

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