Festival fun

Ashton Mlsna of Cashton was the envy of a lot of kids as he traveled the 2019 Wood Turtle Days parade route with a fleet of antique pedal tractors. Many of the same events will be featured in the village’s new Wilton Fest celebration but there will be plenty of new events, too. Herald photo by Pat Mulvaney
Wilton Fest replaces Wood Turtle Days this summer

It won’t technically be Wood Turtle Days, but Wilton community members and visitors to the village will be enjoying a festival at the end of this month.

Wilton Fest will be held Friday, July 30 through Sunday, Aug. 1.

Leigha Barton, Wilton’s clerk/treasurer, said the village board has taken over the festival, but will not stick with the Wilton Fest name. “We will have a contest this year to name it for next year,” she said.

The Wilton Wood Turtle Days was run by a committee, which put last year’s event on hold due to the global pandemic. Barton said this year’s event was also put on hold because the committee had a difficult time finding enough volunteers to help with it.

She said the village board did not want to see the community go another year without the festival, so they took it over. Over 30 people signed up to volunteer to help and more are invited to volunteer. “We welcome all help,” Barton said, adding that the entire village board is running the event.

With the village having more extensive liability insurance, they will have the ability to provide bigger inflatables and a much larger fireworks display, she said. Mad City Inflatables will bring more game-themed inflatables, such as ball throws, a giant “connect four” game and a big slide, according to Barton.

“It’s not your everyday bouncy houses,” she said. “There’s even Velcro Wall Dodgeball.”

Other entertainment geared toward children is also a part of this year’s event. Music and games will be a part of the weekend, along with face-painting.

There will be fun for the adults, too. The duck race, featuring 300 rubber ducks that are being sold at Wilton businesses, will be released into the water at the Village of Wilton campground. Cash prizes will be given to those whose numbers match the ducks who win the swimming race.

Adults can also participate in the 5K run on Saturday. The entry fee includes a bandana and pancake breakfast. There are also baseball and volleyball tournaments planned for the weekend.

Tiffany Bever of Tomah was invited by a Wilton family member to help and she is coordinating the Saturday “market” vendor show. “We are hoping for at least 30 vendors,” she said. Vendor space is $20 per booth and a six-foot table and chairs are supplied. The “market” vendor/craft show will take place inside the gym from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bever, who owns Tiffany’s Ceramic Arts and Pottery studio in Tomah said there will be live music by Brandon Baldwin and a quarter auction in the afternoon.

The weekend will wrap up with a parade on Sunday, followed by the pedal pull. To find out more about Wilton Fest, go to wiltonfest.com or call the village office at 608-435-6666.

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