By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The main event of Marshfield’s annual salute to the dairy industry stayed dry, after brief showers and thunderstorms went through the Marshfield area the morning of June 3.
The Dairyfest parade enjoyed mostly sunny skies, huge crowds and temperatures in the low 70s along South Central Avenue after the rain lifted. The Columbus Catholic High School marching band led off the parade, following parade Marshall Shirley Mook. The Marshfield High School Marching Tigers were also featured, ahead of their trip to Florida this week.
The Mayor’s Trophy for the best overall parade float went to the Hewitt Area Fire Department. Assistant Chief Roger Meyer used the float to promote the annual “Get Fired Up For Safety” awareness event each fall in Marshfield.
“A lot of our business is in the country helping farmers, so we got cows coming out of the barn, flames, and actual smoke,” explained Meyer. “And if you take a look at the back of the float, what does everyone think of? A Dalmatian. So, we got the Dalmatian in the back, along with fire extinguishers, and turnout gear. Last October at ‘Get Fired Up’ attendance was going down, and we said we need to get more PR, so that day we drew it on a napkin and said, ‘Hey, let’s try to do this’, and this is how it came out. So, come see the whole fleet of trucks October 8, 2017.”
For the second year in a row, The Hannah Center received the award for best float by an organization. The effort was spearheaded by board vice president Donna Dolgner and volunteer Rhoda Sternitzky, who promoted the Hannah Center’s annual Dairyfest fundraiser “Cow-Pie Bingo”.
“We are always looking to raise funds for the Hannah Center”, said Sternitzky.
Dolgner described the Hannah Center float, “The theme of the parade is ‘Makin’ It Happen’, and because we help women and children in crisis, we chose to promote ‘Makin’ It Happen One Life at a Time’.
“We have some of our residents with us on the float, and they’re very happy and proud of the Hannah Center. We can house four families at a time, and it’s full right now, and so we have lots of children right now, so it’s very active.”
For the second straight year, Figi’s took home top honors for best float by a business. Shipping Office Coordinator Holly Schnitzler organized the effort, which was a blast from the past.
“Well, the theme was ‘Makin’ It Happen’ and Figi’s was founded in 1944, and John Figi (founder) took 43 gift boxes of Wisconsin cheese in a little red wagon – like you can see on our float – to the post office. So, we’ve been ‘Makin’ It Happen’ since 1944.”
The Marshfield Area Girl Scouts repeated as the first-place finishers for best youth float. Sarah Nemitz helped to come up with this year’s winning float.
“Through Girl Scouts, we are ‘Makin’ It Happen by Building a Brighter Future’, and as the girls get older their future becomes more bright as we help the girls learn what they want to do and how to help, and learn how to make good friendships over the years,” Nemitz said. “We’re building a better future for the girls as they’re getting more prepared for the real world. So, as an organization, we’re building a better and brighter future for the girls.”
This year was Marshfield’s 36th annual Dairyfest celebration, which was started in 1981 by former mayor, Marilyn Hardacre and former WDLB farm broadcaster, Les Leonard.