A Curtain Call for the 2016 Autumn Excursion

Q: How could entertainment be even MORE entertaining?

A: If it is delivered FWHS-style!

Another Autumn Excursion, sponsored by the Friends of the Wisconsin Historical Society (FWHS), has delighted participants with a fascinating look at the entertainment history of the Badger State. This year’s FWHS tour, “That’s Wisconsin Entertainment,” took place on September 21-23 and provided backstage stops and educational tours of many of the state’s iconic entertainment venues.

Day 1 of the Autumn Excursion included a viewing of some of the fascinating collection of the UW’s Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society; lunch at the historic Union House in Genesee Depot; a special tour of the historic American entertainment gathering place Ten Chimneys; a buffet of German cuisine and accordion music at Best Place; and an insiders’ tour of the historic Pabst Brewery.

On our second day of the 2016 Autumn Excursion, we experienced stops in Milwaukee at the iconic Oriental Theater (one of America’s grandest movie palaces); Turner Hall with an insiders’ tour of the bar room, restaurant, historic ballroom, and innovative gymnasium; and finally a special guided tour of the opulent and magnificent Pabst Theater. We then traveled north to Appleton’s History Museum at the Castle where we were entertained by The Great Rondini and viewed the AKA Houdini exhibit in the museum. Our day concluded with a scrumptious dinner at the Del-Bar in Lake Delton.

On our last day of the tour, we visited Baraboo and its historic entertainment venues. We saw the magnificently restored Al Ringling Theater and were entertained with music from the theater’s Barton Pipe Organ. Around the block at the Al Ringling Mansion, we were amazed as owner Joe showed us the efforts to restore and refurbish the mansion to its original glory. Our last stop of the day was at Circus World Museum, where we enjoyed a personal tour of the circus carriage restoration barn, were regaled with music from a steam calliope circus wagon, and enjoyed a trip back to our youth with a ride aboard the Circus World Carousel.

Entertainment was abundant on the 2016 Autumn Excursion! Our recap continues with the photos and fun facts below:

2016 Autumn Excursion Recap

 

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