july events plus boyscouts july 2014
Post on 19-Jul-2016
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The fire circle was one of the first additions to the Mississippi River Sculpture Park, and
was ready to use on a cold and dreary spring day.
Boy Scouts Retire Flags in the Fire Circle
The evening of June 25, I went over to the Mississippi River Sculpture Park and watched the
flag burning at the fire ring in the park. It was an impressive ceremony. The Boy Scouts have a short
presentation and Pledge of Allegiance, then slowly place the flags, one by one into the fire. The wornflags were a variety of sizes, from street flags to memorial flags to even a windsock flag. There were
59 American flags that were retired. Mike Mara, the Scoutmaster, said that is the largest number they
have ever had.
There were so many flags this year because the city changed out a few and also there was a
War Memorial that had accumulated retired flags for several years. The War Memorial's were huge
flags. I believe the Veterans' board for the county collects the flags for the purpose of disposing them
properly. Also, a small article was put in the Courier Press asking for flags and at the same time
announced the date and place of the ceremony.--Cathie Nelson, MRSP board member
The Park's Central Feature
The fire circle, in the center of the Sculpture Park, is built of local stone with bronze plaques
attached to the outside rim. The bronze plaques depict some of the mythical characters and symbols ofthe many and varied cultures that have come together near this confluence of the Wisconsin and
So many people from around the world have met here. The gatherings have been mainlypeaceful, for rendezvous and trade.
I originally planned the fire circle to be a gathering point for the historical bronze characterswho are coming together from the pages of history to exchange information, songs and stories fromtheir times. I still have that vision.
Fall bonus for Friends of the Park
The MRSP board thanked the Leamys for the new shelter with a potluck lunch in the Park.
We're planning a more elaborate dinner for Friends this fall.
As promised before and during Twilight of the Living Statues, Friends of the Sculpture Parkwill be treated to a dinner at the park in early September.
Re-enactors fire at "enemies" during the Battle of Prairie du Chien, actually fought and re-enacted on the Villa Louis grounds.
In order to enjoy the dinner, all you have to do is send a $20 donation to MRSP at P. O. Box
395, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. Be sure to add "Friends of the MRSP" to the memo line at the
bottom of the check. Before deciding that paying dues once a year is all that someone would have to do to call
himself or herself a Friend, we asked people who are Friends of other organizations about what they
liked and didn't like. The complaint we heard over and over was, "They ask us to do too much."
Which is why everything except dues is voluntary for a Friend of the Sculpture Park. There will be more specifics about the dinner in the next newsletter, but it would help the
planners a lot to know how many people have paid the $20 dues and will be enjoying a free dinner at
200 Year-Old Battlefield
When you're standing in the Sculpture Park, the Villa Louis is not a hidden treasure, but this
year, several events will be taking place on the grounds of the historical site/former battlefield that's just
west of the Park.
On Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a walking tour on the
island will cover the land at the center of the Battle of Prairie du Chien. Each tour will include a stop atthe planned archaeological dig taking place on the lawn of Villa Louis that will be searching for the
remains of Fort Shelby and Old Fort Crawford.
As part of the commemoration of the Battle of 1812 that took place on the island 200 years
ago, the Roseville Community Band will play a mix of music from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., before thefireworks go off over the river.
For the last 25 years, on the anniversary of the Battle of Prairie du Chien, re-enactors have
camped on the island and assembled on the battlefield. This year's battle will be the biggest, takingplace on Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20. Canadians will be coming down to take part as the
Canadian voyageur militia. Other re-enactors will become American infantrymen and American
Indians in the battle. Among the 150 to 200 re-enactors, there will also be non-combatants - women
and cooks. Due to a change in rules about how much is charged participants, this will be the last yearof the battle on the grounds of the Villa Louis.
The concert and fireworks on July 12 are free. To get more information about the admission
fees for the other events, go to the Villa Louis website.
Jim Johnson and his wife were at the Sculpture Park, taking photos of each other after carefullyreading the sign next to one of the statues; meanwhile the MRSP board was gathering at the Leamy
Shelter for a May meeting and spring clean-up session. Two board members approached the
Johnsons and Black Hawk to offer to take a picture of the three of them. The Johnsons are from Jacksonville, Illinois, and were staying overnight at a Prairie du Chien
motel, where they found information about the park and came to tour it. Maybe it was a mention of
the Victorian Lady that brought them to the island, because Jim Johnson's company produces and
distributes Victorian Home Calendars. Three-dimensional, historically accurate sculptures gathered together in the same location are
rare. The Sculpture Park is useful for other things too, as Cathie Nelson's description of the flag
burning in the park's fire circle demonstrates.
If we could provide additional sculptures, maybe new bronze residents of the Sculpture Parkwould pique the interest of new visitors, domestic and out-of-state. Keeping the park clean isn't the
only contribution that board members make. For instance, all board members are officially Friends of
the Sculpture Park by paying dues, and we plan and work on two fundraisers, the winter Follies andthe spring Twiight of the Living Statues.
But adding to the Park isn't something the board can do alone. Donations would help add
sculptures, as would dues from additional Friends of the MRSP.
Any amount is both welcome and tax deductible, and should be sent to the address at thebottom of the newsletter.
Marilyn Leys, Editor
Mississippi River Sculpture Park
PO Box 395Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
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Mississippi River Sculpture Park | 1702 E. Parrish St. | Prairie du Chien | WI | 53821