Calendar of Events
Fourth of July - Fireworks and ParadeCedar Lake hosts one of the most magnificent fireworks displays in the area. Fireworks this year will be on July 4, 2013 currently planned to be set off from Joel Wosepka Park at dusk. Just the sight of hundreds of boats with their running lights glistening in the evening, as folks gather to watch on the lake, is beautiful. The fireworks are sponsored by the Mikana Parade Committee, area businesses and private donations.
The Town of Cedar Lake has had "The biggest little Parade in the World" for many years. The parade will be held at 3 pm July 4. We are pushing the parade start time back to 3pm to allow some participants fro the Chetek parade to participate in our parade.
We need you to join the parade in 2013. Norma Jean Jankowski is looking to make the 2013 Parade the largest ever. Please contact Norm Jean Jankowski at 219-669-1815
VOLUNTEERS FOR THE PARADE
Last year many new faces joined the Parade Committee and helped make the 2012 Biggest Little 4th of July Parade a great success. We need more volunteers to help with all areas of the parade; set-up, clean-up, 5K, games, raffle ticket sales, parking, royalty and parade line-up. If you are interested in joining the Parade Committee call Jon Sleik 715-354-3003.
We are searching for the 2013 Mikana Parade Royalty. It is a great opportunity to represent your community, meet other parade royalty and to support the Biggest Little 4th of July Parade.
Simple Requirements: A. Everyone is eligible, no age limitations
B. Must be able to participate in 5 to 8 parades in the area
C. Must provide your own vehicle & driver to tow the float.
The float needs to be set up prior to the Aquafest Parade in June and maintained for the season. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT KALYNN ROBARGE 715-205-8852.
A "LITTLE PARADE" INFORMATION
"THE BIGGEST LITTLE PARADE IN THE WORLD" was started on July 4th, 1980. In April of 1980, The United States Hockey team defeated the Russian team in the Olympics and a small group of people, fired with patriotic pride, got together and marched through town waving flags.
That summer was the year of gas shortages and people were requested not to travel on the Fourth of July. The idea was to have a parade and Fourth of July celebration right in Mikana. Local businesses were consulted and the enthusiasm spread. Jeanne Wolff came up with the name of the parade, saying, "If we are going to have a parade, let's have the biggest little parade in the world." She worked very hard on publicity, (even trying to get into the Guinness Book Of World Records).
In the next few years, Elsie Bartels invested her own money to have parade buttons made, and the rest of the group agonized over whether they could sell enough buttons to return her investment. They did. Now the buttons are a guaranteed seller. Many people have button collections that go all the way back to the beginning of the parade. There is now a collection of all the parade buttons displayed in the Cedar Lake Town Hall, created and donated by Howard and Emily Helfert.
Some of the highlights of the parade have been: Jeanne Wolff dressed as the Statue of Liberty, the Lombardo family as swamp monsters, and Bob Quillen's outhouse. Joyce Jarzyna was our Drum Majorette for many years of the parade, leading "Joyce's Jewels" a group of local ladies singing patriotic songs. Our youngest participant was Tom Plahn, pulled in a wagon dressed as a clown, and our oldest is George Dana of Sarona, who came for many years impressively dressed as Uncle Sam: looking as if he just stepped off a recruiting poster! We have also had Minutemen, a Chinese Dragon from Long Lake, and Cathy Hatfield as Lady Godiva. Yes, she was clothed!
Each year we honor a special person(s) as the Fourth of July Parade Marshall(s), recognizing their contributions to the community.
WE USED TO HAVE A QUEEN, LITTLE MISS, AND THEIR ATTENDANTS
Our Mikana Queen, Little Miss Mikana, and their attendants were another important part of the parade. We were very proud of our democratic way of choosing these young ladies: the names of the girls living in Cedar Lake Township were placed in a hat and drawn. The Queen and attendant had to be age 13 to 16, and the Little Miss and her attendant had to be age 5 to 9, by the Fourth of July. The first name picked in each category was asked to become Queen or Little Miss. The next name drawn was asked to be an attendant.
The Mikana Queen, Little Miss Mikana, and their attendants were installed in a ceremony on the Saturday preceding the parade. To add some time to the program and insert local humor, a musical was created each year featuring Cedar Lakes most talented voices. Sara Wojciehowski created, wrote and directed the coronation play for past fifteen years.
After the Coronation Lisa Howard and helpers would provide punch and homemade treats for all those attending.
UNFORTUNATELY, DUE TO MODERN RESTRICTIONS, AND SO MANY MORE DEMANDS ON YOUNG PEOPLES TIME, THE PRACTICE OF THE QUEEN, LITTLE MISS, AND THE CORONATION PLAY ENDED IN 2011.
As the parade grew and the committee started to actually make money, it was decided that the money not needed for the support of the parade should be used to benefit the Town of Cedar Lake. Some of the things done with the money include wiring the Town Hall for a sound system, street banners with a goose logo proclaiming "Mikana: Headwaters of Red Cedar River", and a historical marker in the park near the dam, explaining the history of Mikana. Christmas street decorations were purchased in conjunction with Barb's General Store and monies were also used to refurbish the Mikana float, which was re-done a few years ago in a very patriotic theme: red, white, and blue, with American flags.
We have purchased tactical defense equipment (official wording for flack jacket) for our Police Officer (approximately $1,500), donated $500 to the Birchwood Community Education Project for their library program, bought new sound equipment for the day of the parade, and "Welcome to Mikana" signs which are erected at either end of town.
The Parade Committee also spent its monies on a new furnace and air conditioning for the Town Hall, paid for half the cost of new vertical blinds for the Cedar Lake Town Hall, and donates $1,000.00 every year to the fireworks. Money was also spent to re-decorate the "Home Town Spirit" float. In 2009, we purchased a $5,000 Stryker cot for the Birchwood Ambulance EMT's.