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Former organizers honored at Beaver Dam Holiday Parade

December 1, 2018

The Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. Holiday Parade and Events Committee has named the grand marshals for Saturday’s parade.

Those honored in this 27th annual event will be the committee members who have organized the event for the past seven years — Kay Appenfeldt, Betty Reals, Glenna Vilmin and Ken Thomas.

“It was an easy choice to honor these hard working individuals, who have done so much to organize and execute all of the events and activities connected with the parade,” said Bev Beal-Loeck, current Holiday Event Committee co-chair. “They truly deserve this honor.”

The four individuals took over the event in 2011.

Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. president Ken Thomas suggested that DBDI, an organization formed to help revitalize downtown Beaver Dam, get involved. The parade has been organized under its auspices ever since. During that time a downtown business window decorating contest, a community-wide coloring contest, an after party and other attractions have been added to the holiday line-up.

This year’s parade committee chose “Holiday Movies” as the theme for the 2018 parade, the Downtown Business Window Decorating Contest and the Community Coloring Contest.

“There are so many great family-oriented Holiday movies to choose from,” said Kristi Hartzheim, Holiday Event Committee Co-chair. “We are very excited to see which movies will be represented and if any one movie is used significantly more often than the others.”

There are usually around 50 parade entries, ranging from church floats to story book characters, from dancing troupes to Santa Claus.

A panel of judges views the floats and picks the top entries in several prize categories. Cash prizes are awarded and winners also receive a plaque created by the Beaver Dam Senior Center Wood Shop.

The Dodge County Historical Society Museum, 105 Park Ave., will host an open house from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday with free admission and holiday treats.

The Midwest Cream Cheese Competition will run from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the St. Katharine Drexel Parish Center, 511 S. Spring St. The competition commences with judging for the “Best New Cream Cheese Recipe” beginning at noon. Judging for the “Greatest Cream Cheese Dip” begins at 1 p.m. The “Ultimate Cheese Cake Contest” begins at 2 p.m. Award presentations follow. For more information visit creamcheesecompetition.com.

Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce will have an open house from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Free hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies will be served in the Old Depot, 127 S. Spring St. At 5:15 p.m., Mayor Becky Glewen will light the community tree on the chamber property.

Beaver Dam Rotary Club’s light display at Swan City Park will also brighten the night — and through the holidays — illuminated from dusk to 10:30 p.m. The display continues through Jan. 1.

Lineup for the holiday parade begins at 4:30 p.m. with the event starting at 5:30 p.m. The parade begins at the intersection of Front and Center streets, heads east on Front Street, turns south onto South Spring Street, heads west on Mill Street and returns to its starting point.

Santa will be in the last unit of the parade and will head over to The Watermark, 209 S. Center St., to greet children of all ages after the parade. Float awards will be presented there as well and Mayor Becky Glewen and Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. president Mike Wissell will share comments.

Parade goers are invited to view the windows on the night of the parade, and to enter participating stores to shop for gifts over the holiday season. Judging for the window decorating contest will take place Monday night. Businesses owners are reminded to have window displays lit for the judging. The winner will receive a traveling trophy. Second and third place winners also will be acknowledged.

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