A celebration of the harvest, featuring a hand-built, human-powered puppet parade, music, performance, local foods, and a fire circus.
7 Reasons to Support the Viroqua Harvest Celebration & Parade1. To provide opportunities for kids to experience the arts.
The parade staff works with literally hundreds of school-age children and teenagers through open workshops (September 15, 22, and 29 at 1 p.m.) and studio field trips. This year, we’re bringing the parade into the classroom to reach even more kids. Your donation makes it possible.
2. To empower kids.
Kids actively help dream, build, and perform the parade. That’s an amazing experience for a child or a teenager. This year, we’re offering internships for teens and young adults. Your donation makes it possible.
3. To bring talent into rural Wisconsin.
Artists from Minneapolis and Chicago already come to Viroqua to help build the parade. This year, we’ve hired an artist-in-residence, Mary Plaster, who will lead master-classes for kids and adults. Your donation makes it possible.
4. To keep talent in rural Wisconsin.
In the first two years of the parade, artists volunteered their time to get the ball rolling. This year, we’ve hired four local artists to design the parade and help kids and other volunteers build it. Puppets as job creators! Your donation makes it possible.
5. To help the rural economy we live in.
It’s a sure thing: Public art celebrations like ours attract folks from all over the region. They have a good time, and they support our local businesses. This year, we’re actively seeking to expand our media visibility in nearby urban markets. Your donation makes it possible.
6. To make Viroqua an even cooler place to be.
Annual community celebrations like the harvest parade are eagerly anticipated from year to year. Imagine growing up in a town where you get to make giant puppets every year! This year, our outreach coordinator is working to include even more of our community in the fun. Your donation makes it possible.
7. To have a blast on Saturday, October 13.
This year’s parade promises to be even bigger and better than last year’s. Whether you live in town or across the country, come build a puppet, or march in the parade, or just grab a chair and watch. After the parade, we’ll head to the park for a pageant, song and dancing, games and activities, food and drink, and a fire circus. This year, we’ll keep the party rolling with a Harvest Dance Party at the Viking Inn. Your donation makes it possible.
HERE'S THE BACKGROUND
Parades, festivals, vaudeville, roadshows, medicine shows… wherever human beings have congregated, such festivities have flowered—to entertain… and to celebrate living.
Here in Viroqua, a tiny town in Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, we mark the harvest every year on the second Saturday of October with the Viroqua Harvest Celebration & Parade. The event centers on an artist-created, human-powered puppet parade that marches down main street and into the town park, where we enjoy food, performance, music, dance, and the friendly companionship of friends, neighbors, and strangers.
The event began in 2010 when a bunch of local artists, who’d worked on similar events around the world, decided to bring the festivities home to our town. It’s been a huge success. Literally hundreds of volunteers, including entire classrooms of children, have come together to make the parade a reality. Artists and organizers donated hundreds of hours to get the event off the ground.
And now, as we enter our third year, it’s time to build an organization to sustain the event for the future. We’re incorporating as a nonprofit organization, and we’re raising money to rent a studio space and hire an outreach and volunteer coordinator. We've hired artists to design the parade, and an artist-in-resident to help work with school children and others interested in learning puppetry skills. We're increasing our budget for the artists, musicians, and performers who help make the celebration a success.
But that’s not all. We’re expanding the ways in which we meet our mission—“to build community, foster connections in the arts, and provide artistic opportunities to youths and adults.” In addition to the artist residency program, we are expanding our outreach to area youth through workshops and by working with schools and other institutions. We’ll be expanding our live performance schedule to bring more lively arts entertainment into the region.
Here at home we’re engaged in a comprehensive capital campaign. We’re working with local businesses and individuals who share our vision. We’re hosting several events designed to bring money into the organization. We’re creating a stock of merchandise (including a fabulous puppetry Midway) that will generate earned revenue for the group.
And we’re turning to Kickstarter. Specifically, we hope to raise $7,500. We will use these funds to support our efforts to reach out to area schools and to fund the talented artists who work directly with children, providing enrichment opportunities to our community.
You can learn more about the parade at our facebook page: www.facebook.com/viroquaharvest.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Our undying gratitude and a thank-you by name on our facebook page.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
A jolly, frameable hand-printed man-in-the-moon postcard from the Viroqua Harvest Celebration & Parade.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus your choice: a hand-printed cloth pennant featuring artwork from the parade or a frameable photo card featuring an image from a past parade.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
A pennant and postcard, plus a hand-made, hand-printed, limited edition Man-In-The-Moon canvas tote bag. We're sewing these up on a vintage Singer and printing them from a home-made stencil.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Our parade has both large and small puppets designed by the artistic directors and built collectively by volunteers. For a pledge of $100, we will ship you one of the smaller hand-made puppets or masks from the 2012 parade, suitable for display in your home, office, or apartment--or surprise your family and friends by WEARING it the next time you go out on the town.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Pledge at this level and you will get the postcard, pennant, a canvas tote AND a special VIP package for two for the Harvest Parade after-party in Viroqua's Viking Inn, including free admission and 4 free drink tickets.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)
The postcard... the pennant... the tote bag... the VIP package... AND a private dinner with the creative directors of the parade and up to 7 other supporters. We will regale you with food and libations, relate humorous anecdotes of the life of a puppeteer, and we will even perform some of our fabulous puppetry repertoire.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
Pledge at this level and you'll get the postcard... the pennant... the tote bag... the VIP package... the private dinner... PLUS free admission to ALL performances for a one-year period. Puppet shows, musical entertainments, vaudeville, burlesque, dance parties... dust off your morphsuit and/or tuxedo, cuz you'll be on the guest list for everything that we do!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
I bet you know some kids (or grownups) who would like to have a puppetry workshop. Pledge 2,000, and we will come to your school, organization--or your own home--to provide hands-on demo appropriate to your group. Could be a simple cardboard construction for younger kids, or maybe our fabulous bike constructions for teenagers. You decide. If you're outside of the region, we're probably gonna need some help with the transportation costs.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,020 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
Pledge at this level and you will receive a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind full-size quilt, hand-stitched by a team of volunteers for the 2012 parade. Pictures can be found on our facebook page.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
Perhaps you're planning a wedding or anniversary party. Junior needs a bash for his fifth birthday. Roger's retiring from the dental fabrication lab. But what can you do for entertainment? Pledge at this level, and we will promise exquisite performance customized to your event. A puppet show? A square dance? A string band? Belly dancers? A cabaret? An old-time circus peep-show? All of the above? The possibilities are limited only by our collective imagination. Which means they're unlimited. Again, if you're outside the region, we may need help with transportation costs.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
Pledge at this level and we will anoint you the GRAND VINEGAR MARSHAL-PLAN POTENTATE of the 2012 Viroqua Harvest Celebration & Parade. What does this mean? You will be outfitted in luxurious and remarkable handmade finery encrusted with lively jewels and insignia. You will ride at the head of the parade in a customized human-powered conveyance. You will enjoy the celebration in the park with your own private comfort station stocked with delicacies. And you will light the ceremonial match to commence the 2012 fire circus.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)