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Celebrating Yellowstone Trail

Fremont festival set for Aug. 21-23

CN-WF-yellowstone1-150813The Wolf River Optimist Club in Fremont is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Yellowstone Trail coming through Wisconsin.

The Yellowstone Trail Festival will be held Friday through Sunday, Aug. 21-23, in downtown Fremont.

Highway’s history
The Yellowstone Trail became the first transcontinental automobile highway in the United States, traveling through the northern tier of states from Washington through Massachusetts.

A South Dakota man came up with the idea in 1912, as automobiles became popular, while intercity roads continued to have sand, potholes and mud.

A group of business colleagues wanted a good road from Ipswich to Aberdeen, which was 25 miles away in South Dakota.

From there, the idea expanded to include other communities, as well as the tourist destination Yellowstone National Park and beyond.

In October 1912, the Yellowstone Trail Association formed. It remained active until 1930.

The creation of the trail was a grassroots effort.

People raised money locally through a system of assessments and often headed local volunteer groups to mark the route with either yellow stones or the official yellow circle and arrow of the association.

In Wisconsin, work on the trail began in 1915.

The Yellowstone Trail went through 18 Wisconsin counties, covering a total of 406 miles.

The state’s entire U.S. Highway 10 corridor lies along the route of the Yellowstone Trail.

Hotel Fremont on Wolf River Drive housed many Yellowstone Trail travelers.

Through the years, village residents honored the trail in several ways.

They marked the trail with large yellow signs, and the trail was part of the community’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1998.

In 2007, several old buildings along Wolf River Drive were marked with Yellowstone Trail signs.

The Wolf River Optimist Club, a service club dedicated to empowering youth and supporting the community, is the latest group to recognize the historical significance of the trail.

Fremont’s festival
Friday’s festival activities will begin in the early evening and include vendors, a craft fair, food and beverages.

“Rock, Rock, Rocks” will play for the street dance, from 8 p.m. to midnight in the big tent.

Saturday will begin with vendors and an all vehicle and old car show starting at 9 a.m., with prizes awarded at 2:30 p.m.

Helicopter rides will also begin at 9 a.m., and there will be bouncy rides, horticulture and scarecrow contests, blacksmith demonstrations, psychic readings and a 3 p.m. parade.

The scarecrows will be displayed on lamposts with judging at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Cowboy and the Buffalo Stomp” will play in the big tent from 8 p.m. to midnight, and the Lite the Nite Glow Run will start at 8:15 p.m.

Sunday’s activities will also begin with helicopter rides at 9 a.m.

Hope United Church of Christ will have an outdoor worship service with Starfire Band at 10:15 a.m., in Wolf River Crossings Park. People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs for the service.

A ham luncheon will follow in the big tent with a free will offering.

Psychics will again be available that day to give readings, beginning at 9 a.m.

The pie contest judging will be at 12:30 p.m., and the pies will be raffled off in the big tent after the judging.

There will be a pet parade at 1:30 p.m., with the children’s cookie contest judged and auctioned prior to the pet parade.

The horticulture contest will be judged at 3 p.m.

The pumpkin race on the Wolf River will take place at 4 p.m., followed by the Webfooter Ski Show at 5 p.m.

People may visit www.wolfriveroptimistclub.com and click on “Yellowstone Trail Festival” for details about the various contests and events.

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