New Glarus Journals

New Glarus: Wilhelm Tell Festival

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An August 2003 trip to New Glarus by wildhoney269

Tell Usherettes Photo, New Glarus, Wisconsin More Photos
Quote: The annual Wilhelm Tell Festival, a celebration of Swiss freedom held annually during Labor Day weekend in "America's Little Switzerland" in Green County, roughly 40 miles south of Madison.

New Glarus: Wilhelm Tell Festival

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Overview

Tell Usherettes Photo, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Quote:
The annual Wilhelm Tell Festival held in New Glarus is comprised of many events. The weekend starts out with the Laternenzug (lantern parade) on Friday evening. A yodeling contest, Alpine Festival and Swiss Camping are events held on Saturday. The Art Fair, Ethnic Fashion Show and Street Dance are scheduled through out Sunday. The big show, of course, is the presentation of the drama in which Tell is forced to shoot an apple from his son's head at a full one hundred paces, an event that lore has it opened the way for Switzerland to break free of Austria. That play, held on the Tell grounds just west of the village, is presented in English at 1 on Saturday and in German at 1 on Sunday. It's all...Read More

Wilhelm Tell Festival

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Attraction

Wilhelm Tell Festival Photo, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Quote:
The Wilhelm Tell Festival is an annual event held every year on Labor Day weekend and has been a tradition in New Glarus since first presented in 1938. It seems as though the entire town participates in this unique ethnic event. The highlight of the festival includes the telling of Wilhelm Tells’ story and the story Swiss independence during the Wilhelm Tell Drama. Performances, written by German playwright Friedrich Schiller, are presented with intricate costumes and a lively cast that includes goats, cows and horses in a beau...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 7, 2003

Wilhelm Tell Festival
418 Railroad Street
New Glarus, Wisconsin 53574
(608) 527-2095

Wilhelm Tell Festival

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Attraction | "Wilhelm Tell Drama"

Wilhelm Tell Festival Photo, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Quote:
The crowd in the natural amphitheater collectively holds its breath while Wilhelm Tell, the mythical Swiss hero, draws his arrow, aiming directly at an apple resting on his son's head. He releases the bow, and the arrow goes flying, a hundred paces in the air, before it stabs the apple straight on, knocking it to the ground. With this act, Wilhelm and his child, Walter, have avenged the Austrian tyrant and his evil vice regent, Herman Gessler. Because of this, Wilhelm Tell is the Swiss national hero. The story, of how Tell helped Switzerland gain its independence, was told by the famous 18th century German playwright Friedrich Schiller. Since his story depicts history as well as legend, the dra...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 7, 2003

Wilhelm Tell Festival
418 Railroad Street
New Glarus, Wisconsin 53574
(608) 527-2095

Swiss Camping at the Wilhelm Tell Festival

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Attraction | "Swiss Camping"

Swiss Camping at the Wilhelm Tell Festival Photo, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Quote:
Swiss Camping is held at the Tell Grounds the Saturday night of the Wilhelm Tell Festival Weekend (Labor Day). "Go to sleep in New Glarus and wake up in Switzerland" is how the camping is advertised. At 5pm, about a half hour after the Wilhelm Tell Drama ends on Saturday afternoon, campers are allowed to pull their cars around and set up their tents. Some games are organized for the kids, but most people head into town to partake in the other weekend festivities for most of the evening. We had dinner and then went to the Alpine Festival at the high school auditorium in town. When we ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 7, 2003

Swiss Camping at the Wilhelm Tell Festival
Tell Grounds
New Glarus, Wisconsin 53574
(800) 527-6838

Alpine Festival

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Attraction

Alpine Festival Photo, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Quote:
At the Alpine Festival visitors to New Glarus enjoy traditional Swiss entertainment presented by local groups in the High School Auditorium. Watching this intimate event is somewhat like watching a talent show. All of the talent is really good, yet it feels as you have temporarily become a member of this tiny little town. Performers in ethnic costumes entertain you with yodeling, singing, alphorn blowing, dancing, Swiss music and more. The program is sponsored by the Jodlerklub New Glarus (New Glarus Yodel Club) and they performed about 8 selections. It was here I learned that yodeling is much more than the st...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 7, 2003

Alpine Festival
1701 2nd Street
New Glarus, Wisconsin 53574
(608) 527-2410 ext 0

Wilhelm Tell Festival

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Attraction | "Ethnic Fashion Show"

Wilhelm Tell Festival Photo, New Glarus, Wisconsin
Quote:
As part of the Wilhelm Tell Festival weekend, an ethnic fashion show is presented on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. in town. It is called an ethnic fashion show since more than just Swiss trachten are featured. Also featured are Germen trachten (costumes), Norwegian Bundas, Scottish kilts, Pakistan formal outfits as well as the costumes of the Wilhelm Tell Usherettes. Most people realize countries have unique costumes, but do not realize that areas within countries often have distinct costumes as well. The costumes modeled at the show are authentic, except for the Usherette costumes. Every detail, from material to buttons to embroidery, is authentic. Costumes from several different Swiss Cantons ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 7, 2003

Wilhelm Tell Festival
418 Railroad Street
New Glarus, Wisconsin 53574
(608) 527-2095

About the Writer

wildhoney269

wildhoney269
Chicago, Illinois