Warrens Cranberry Festival wraps up it’s 50th year with a parade

Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 5:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Warrens Cranberry Festival celebrates their 50th anniversary this year, and according to lineup chairman, Lisa McCormick, more than 150,000 people attended the event, some of them crowding the streets to watch the Cranfest Parade.

“Our parade is kind of the culmination, the end of the festival, and we’re excited for great weather to get this parade off today,” McCormick said.

The parade has been a tradition for as long as Cranfest.

“50 years ago, in our very first Cranberry Festival we had, we started with just a small kitty parade, so it was basically the cranberry growers children in the parade, and it’s just grown from that point on,” McCormick said.

50 years later, the parade has more floats than ever before.

One organization has only been in the parade for two years, but say they love it all the same.

“I’m in a club called the Wheelman. We ride Empty Bicycles. I’ve got one of those high-wheeled bikes. Many people call them Penny Farthing. And there are going to be a few of us riding today, and one antique trike. It’s got big wheels. It’s an adult trike,” High-wheel Bicyclist John Bollig said.

The organization’s purpose in the parade is to ride antique bikes that are over 100 years old.

Bollig said his favorite part is watching the reactions.

“Seeing the bright expressions on the little kids. I like to ride the bike real close to the edge of the crowd. And the kids, you know, they’re going, Whoa, like that,” Bollig said.

Another surprise at the parade was the presence of royalty.

“We have a lot of activities and a lot of VIPs and royalty in today. We have Miss America here who was Miss Wisconsin last year. We have Miss Wisconsin here, Miss Teen Wisconsin, as well as 50 years of Cranfest royalty. And so we have a lot of royalty from other festivals throughout the state,” McCormick said.

Despite the rain, the parade went on as planned and all participating floats went along with it.

2024s Cranberry Festival in Warrens will land on the 27th-29th of September.