Wiener & Kraut Day still offers fun, togetherness

Waterloo City Hall

WATERLOO -- When Waterloo held its first Wiener & Kraut Day, the community was a village with a population of 1,943 and to contact The Courier newspaper residents needed to dial 8 on their rotary telephone.

Much has changed since the first W&K Day, which was in early October, but it's still an event to highlight the friendliness of the community.

Waterloo Chamber of Commerce President Evan Kurkowski said it's going to be another fun and exciting year as the event will celebrate "60 Nifty Wiener-full Years" Saturday.

New to this year's lineup is a costume contest. Kurkowski said people are encouraged to dress up in 1960s styles or hot dog and sauerkraut-themed outfits.

People wearing costumes are invited to take part in the popular dog parade. The chamber president said the winner of the contest will be decided by popular vote. Prizes will be awarded at the Four-Corners beer garden at the corner of North Monroe and East Madison streets immediately after the parade.

"It's going to be a lot of fun to see what people come up with," he said. "It's just another fun way for people to interact and be involved in the parade and just have some fun with it."

Lineup for the world famous dog parade (all breeds are welcome) and costume contestants will be at 11:45 a.m. at St. John's School, 413 E. Madison St. The parade will get underway at noon and end at Farmers & Merchants State Bank. Kurkowski said the Waterloo High School Band will perform in the parade, which will also feature Waterloo fire trucks, a K-9 police unit and Sparky the Fire Dog mascot.

Hubbleton Brewing Company will host the beer garden at the Four-Corners. Kurkowski said that after a request last year, there will be recorded music playing downtown.

"That should help liven the party," he said.

Also downtown will be 15 vendors, in addition to 20 merchants in Firemen's Park, including some making their first appearance at Waterloo's event. The vendors market opens at 8 a.m.

One of the main draws is the sale of hot dogs smothered in sauerkraut (or naked dogs for those who prefer). There are three official spots where a total of 7,000 hot dogs will be available for purchase -- Piggly Wiggly from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Four-Corners bandstand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Firemen's Park bingo hall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The park is also the place to see live music as the Waterloo City Band takes the stage at 10 a.m. The DeVilles will play the best tunes from the 1950s, '60s' and '70s, taking the stage at 5 p.m., and 5th Gear will close out the day at 8 p.m.

People may still buy one (or more) of the 400 raffle tickets, priced at $10 each, for the chance to win the grand prize of $1,000. This will be an all cash raffle, awarding declining payouts to first through fifth place. Tickets may be purchased at Farmers & Merchants State Bank Waterloo branch, Piggly Wiggly in Waterloo and Hubbleton Brewing Company. Ticket holders do not need to be present at the 4:45 p.m. drawing to win.

Kurkowski said all of the money raised during this and other chamber events goes back into the community. Last year, the organization was able to help fund new picnic tables for Firemen's Park.

The chamber appreciates the sponsorships from local businesses, which help W&K Day continue to be successful along with the volunteers, he said.

"The town really takes pride in this event," Kurkowski said. "It happens once a year and it's been going on for 60 years now. I think everyone loves taking part in the history. It's a day when you can all get together in the community and have a good time."

What else is happening

The Waterloo American Legion will hold its annual car show at the Legion building. Registration is from 8 a.m. to noon and there is a $5 entry fee. There will be three random cash prizes, a Legion Choice Award and Long Distance Award presented at 2 p.m.; entrants must be present to win. There will be drawings for door prizes and 50/50 raffles throughout the day. Food and refreshments will also be available and no carry-ins are allowed. A DJ will be providing music from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 920-478-3620 or 920-728-5241.

The Friends of the Karl Junginger Memorial Library will host its 5K run at 10 a.m. starting at the library. This year, a 2-mile family walk has also been added to the lineup. Individual registration is $25 and a group of four may register for the 2-mile walk for $50. The event benefits the friends group. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. and may be done online at https://runsignup.com/Race/WI/Waterloo/WienerKrautDay5kRun2MWalk.

The Friends also will hold a book sale at the KJM Library in conjunction with W&K Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Dorothyfest volleyball tournament returns to Waterloo Firemen's Park with the couples tournament Friday at 6 p.m. and the three-on-three matches Saturday.

Proceeds from the event will benefit hospice care and cancer charities. The Saturday softball tournament returns to the park as well.

Holy Family Catholic School will have a rummage sale in the school gym on Friday, 3-6 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-noon. All items will be half price on Sunday.

The school will also have a bake sale all three days. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the school's playground update.

The Waterloo-Marshall VFW Post 6614 will serve hot dogs at the VFW building on South Monroe Street.

The auxiliary will also serve cookies, bars and assorted desserts.

St. John's Church and School will serve ice cream and run the kids zone. The building will also be open to provide restroom access to the public.

The Waterloo Historical Society will have a display of W&K Day memorabilia at the museum, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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