|5/31/2019 9:36:00 AM|
Day Parade is a go
|For this year's Farmers Appreciation Day parade, set for Sunday, July 14, time will tell what the parade route will be. |
Iowa Street has been the Farmers Appreciation Day parade route used since its beginning. Each year lawn chairs have been stacked along the street sidewalks to see the many exhibits that pass through.
However this year, it is uncertain if the route will be the same as it has been in the past.
Since earlier this spring, there has been a road construction project on U.S. Highway 151. According to information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website, this project addresses pavement deterioration on the Highway 18 and State Highway 23 interchanges. It also consists of replacing concrete pavement on the Highway 151 (northbound and southbound), Highway 23, and Highway 18 interchange ramps.
It has affected traffic under the Highway 23 bridge, causing bi-directional traffic along Highway 151, which continues underneath the interchange. It has caused a detour that takes the Highway 23 ramp into the city of Dodgeville coming down Iowa Street, thus resulting in heavier traffic flow. This project is expected to continue into mid-summer.
For many years, the parade route has flowed down Iowa Street, extending up to North Johns Street with events continuing at Harris Park. The schedule of the highway construction project has caused a lot of uncertainty for the parade route.
The Farmers Appreciation Day Committee members have been hard at work to determine alternate routes by using side streets that don't interfere with the heavy traffic flow affecting Iowa Street. A meeting of the committee members was held last Thursday to discuss the route. Committee members in attendance were Melissa Doyle, Nancy Meyers, Krista Dolan, Jim Massey, Kasi Greenwood, Kayla Sazama and Ken Von Rueden.
City of Dodgeville Mayor Todd Novak, Chief of Police David Bauer and Public Works Director Greg Lee have had discussions with the committee on the streets in question. At this time alternative routes are still being determined.
"Nothing has been set in stone," said Kayla Sazama, Farmers Appreciation Day parade coordinator.
Sazama was at the May 21 Dodgeville City Council meeting to give updates on alternative routes. At some point, there was small talk about the parade route not happening at all this year.
When city council members asked if the parade might be cancelled, they were told that cancelling it would be detrimental to the overall tradition and future of the event.
"If we had to cancel the parade, then we would have to cancel the whole event," Farmers Appreciation Day Chairwoman Krista Dolan said. "We're not going to be able to bring it back if that happens. Cancelling the parade is not an option."
The Farmers Appreciation Day Parade committee members are reminding the community that the parade route is still being discussed, and to stay tuned. The committee will contact parade entrants, ask for their contact information and inform them about where to line up should the parade routes change.
In the end, the road construction schedule will determine the parade route, organizers say. If the construction finishes before July 14, then the route perhaps may be as it always has been. More information will follow in upcoming issues of The Dodgeville Chronicle.
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