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December 13, 2019

11/29/2019 9:01:00 AM
Dodgeville brings back the Holiday Parade during Small Business Saturday
Many people throughout Dodgeville know about the holiday parade that stretched down Iowa Street.
After a few years off the tradition of the Holiday Parade comes back this week during Small Business Saturday, November 30.
The parade was once known as "Miracle on Iowa Street" and it was started by Carrie Schroeder and Kathryn Heimerl. Heimerl originally came from Portage and it was a tradition brought on by the Portage Jaycees.
"Kathryn felt it would be great to bring it to downtown Dodgeville," Schroeder said. "So as a group, we kind of all rallied around that and decided to give it a shot."
During the parade's first year, approximately 10 years ago, the weather showcased below zero temperatures.
"But we still had a great turnout of people participating in the parade and a great number of folks that came out to watch it, so it was really fun," Schroeder said.
Weather continued to play a major role in the parade and it was what ultimately led to the parade stopping. A few years ago the parade stopped because there were two years in a row of rain, and it became harder and harder to get entries.
Efforts to bring the parade back began with a group of Dodgeville Kiwanis members, and the conversation began during a luncheon this past January. The committee that brought it back consisted of Kari Wunderlin, Brenda Crowe, Kasi Greenwood, Mike Reilly, Pat Reilly and Executive Director for the Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce Beth Mikrut-Gilles.
"We were all really excited when we started talking about it, and we spoke with Kiwanis president Jim Massey," Crowe said. "He told us to speak with Beth about it and when it was discussed with her she was also really excited about it."
"I think it's great that it's coming back," Schroeder said.
The Holiday Parade will be in conjunction with "Home for the Holidays." Events will include the fourth Annual Small Business Saturday Craft & Vendor Shopping Event at Dodgeville High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 11 a.m. there will be a free movie featuring "The Star" at Dodge Theater. From noon to 3:30 p.m. there will be carriage rides, a live nativity scene, free hot chocolate and cookies at Plymouth Church.
Kids will have the opportunity to have photos with Santa from 1-2:30 p.m. at Cobblestone Coffee House, along with the "Cookie Walk" taking place inside the Methodist Church from 2 p.m. until all sold out. The "Cookie Walk" is a fundraiser for the Dodger Food Locker.
Following the parade at 4 p.m ., guests can partake in the Memorial Lighting Ceremony held outside the Courthouse Lawn. Names will be read by Dodgeville Chronicle Publisher and Editor J. Patrick Reilly. There will also be marshmallows and s'mores from 4:45-7 p.m. in the Methodist Church Parking lot, right next to MHTC.
"There were several people that wanted us to try and see if we can bring back the Christmas parade," said Beth Mikruk-Gilles, "And even though we have 20-25 entries, I think it's a really good start you to keep growing the parade for future years."
Kari Wunderlin says, "There were months of planning that have gone into the committee and making sure that we can get as many people involved as possible-to bring back what's really the true meaning of the holidays."
"I think it's special to see all of the organizations and community folks come together to make sure that everybody in this town feel the reason for the season," Brenda Crowe says. "It's just amazing to see how many people come together. Christmas is such a magical time."
More information for the Holiday Parade and "Home for the Holidays" can be found by following both Facebook pages for updates.

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