People of all ages and artistic abilities came together over the weekend to take part in a Puppet Jam in preparation for the eighth annual Viroqua Harvest Parade, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m.

Puppet and costume building was held at the Ark Center for the Arts Saturday and Sunday.

Lucille Ivers was working in a small room in The Ark’s basement Saturday morning.

“I am working on a character piece,” Ivers said, as she worked with strips of corrugated cardboard. “It’s part forest and part ocean. I like the water and the woods. (Right now) I am measuring the lower hemisphere for the eyes.”

Originally from Flint, Michigan, Ivers has been traveling between Michigan, Arizona and Wisconsin for the past year-and-a-half, and was in Viroqua for a short while before going to Colorado to work with horses.

Carla Schwingler, a boarding student at Youth Initiative High School, took advantage of Saturday’s pleasant weather and worked outside on the lawn, painting a fish that will be worn over a person’s head for the Harvest Parade.

Schwingler, who is from Berlin, Germany, said she is one of about 10 students who are taking an afternoon elective at YIHS called Parade Art. The students will march in the parade with their creations.

“I think we’ll have a couple children walking with us also,” she said.

Schwingler said their creations have a water theme and include dragonflies, fish and a frog.

Schwingler chose to take the Parade Art class because of the creativity it offered.

“It seemed the most interesting and I could work with my creativity and build something from nothing,” she said.

The Viroqua Harvest Parade is held every year to celebrate the harvest and the regional history of farming and agriculture. The parade is a human-powered large-scale puppet parade and is open to all ages to either be in the parade or watch it.

Children and adults who wish to be in the parade should come to The Ark, 401 E. Jefferson St., on parade day by 1 p.m. There will be extra costumes available at The Ark — or they can bring their own harvest-themed costumes.

The parade route will begin at The Ark and travel down Washington Street toward Terhune Street then along Main Street and into Eckhart Park via Court Street. The Harvest Celebration then continues at the park with local food vendors, a variety of musical performances, and concludes with a performance by the Driftless Fire Tribe at dusk.

For more information or to get involved, call Denise Semanchin at 608-637-2606. Information about the parade can also be found at www.facebook.com/viroquaharvest.

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Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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