Posted: 8/31/2014

What a demonstration of community at the Jim Jorgenson fund raiser at the ball park. Huge crowd, music, a great variety of auction items, lots of food, drinks, a raffle. All under the big tent and surrounding grounds. It continues through the night so it's not too late to participate.

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2015 Anniversary celebrations

Posted: 8/30/2014

2015 will be Bethel Church's 150th anniversary. The Art and Nature Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

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Sweet Mountain Farm

Posted: 8/30/2014

Located on Mountain Road on the Island is a growing business that produces honey, makes custom built bee hives, and breeds honeybees. Sweet Mountain Farm, LLC received a United States Department of Agriculture Value-Added Producer Grant. The process to apply for this grant is complex and there are many competitors. Check out the website at or  and learn more about the products and process. Sue Dompke moved to the Island several years ago, bought a home and acreage, and began this venture.   

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Rainy day

Posted: 8/30/2014

Rainy Day

Rainy day as predicted.

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Labor Day

Posted: 8/28/2014

Labor Day weekend is upon us! There are still plenty of activities to take in over the weekend and the fall. On Friday, there is an annual fall show opening reception at the Art and Nature Center. Friday is also the Red Barn's final night featuring Eric Lewis and others. On Saturday there is a community wide rummage sale at the Community Center to benefit the Chicago-Madison school trip from 9 A.M. to noon. Later is the American Legion fish boil at the Legion Hall downtown Washington Island, from 4:30 to 7 P.M. On Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 P.M. at the Red Barn there will be a presentation by Island Players of several scenes from "The Doll's House". Sunday is  the baseball game fundraiser, with old-timers competing against younger players. Only $10 for food and the game. There will also be an auction.  

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Sweet Taste of Success

Posted: 8/23/2014


“What a great day.” “We mark this event on our calendar each year as a ‘must attend’”. “Delicious!” “This is the friendliest community we’ve ever been to.” “This is the best!” “We love coming here for the barbeque.”  Booths offering toys, sweets, breads, kettle corn, and other items for sale, kids running with pet dogs, the tantalizing aroma of barbeque, and smiling faces add up to a great event on the Island. Rain had been predicted for the weekend but it was generally overcast and muggy.

The excitement builds as teams start arriving on the Island as early as Thursday before the Saturday competition. They head to the airport where they set up and begin preparations. This year there were 27 teams. The Friday night before the open public event includes a fish boil dinner at the airport prepared by KK Fiske welcomes the teams and family members that accompany them.  Emmett Woods hosts a star gazing event if there are clear views.

The public began to converge at the airport at 10 A.M. on Saturday arriving by car, truck, cherry train, bike, motor cycle, moped, or on foot. There were special children’s activities at the Farm Museum to co-ordinate with the DDBQ event. Eating, shopping, visiting, and drinking ensued followed by eating, shopping, visiting, and drinking. Providing special music mid-day were local talents, a brother and sister, Jesse and Annabelle Hansen. In the afternoon there was a magician performing under the big tent. 

The Death’s Door Barbeque culminated in the anticipated announcement of winners under the big tent at about 5 P.M. Dick Jepsen, one of the main organizers of the DDBBQ this year, welcomed everyone.  He asked for a moment of silence in memory of Fred Hankwitz who died from cancer earlier in the year. Fred and Lisa Gibson began this popular and successful event and this is the third year. Town chairman, Joel Gunnlaugsson spoke and thanked in particular the Washington Island Ferry Line, the Washington Island Electric Company, the Town of Washington, other sponsors, and he added appreciation for everyone attending, the teams, soundman Emmett Woods, and all others who made the special event possible.

Joel announced the winners presented by the judges to the enthusiastic group gathered under the tent.  The dessert category top winner was T-Mac Smokin’.  Frickin’ Chicken came in second. There were 14 entries with those top two receiving payouts.

The top five winners who received payouts in the chicken category were (5) Hot Ash BBQ; (4) Fox River BBQ; (3)Parbutt heads; (2) Big City BBQ; (1) Da Rev and Animal BBQ Krewe.

Pork winner top five were: (5) Buckaroo BBQ; (4) T-Mac Smokin’; (3) Fox River BBQ; (2) Badger BBQ; (1) Freeman Brothers.

Pork ribs winners: (5) Tim’s Full Belli Delli; (4) Pits and Spits; (3) T-Mac BBQ; (2) Fat Andy’s Backyard BBQ; (1) DD’s BBQ.

Brisket category top five: (5) Above the Bridge; (4) Fox River BBQ; (3) ABC BBQ; (2) Chef’s Gone Grillin’ (1) Crash Test Smokers.

With anticipation building the final overall winners were announced with the Reserve Grand Champion as the Crash Test Smokers and the Grand Champion, winning the grand prize of $7500 was Fox River BBQ.

Winner of the raffle for the smoker and half a hog was a lady from Wausau, Wisconsin.

The Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctions and judges BBQ competitions across the U.S. and promotes barbeque as America’s cuisine. It is the largest society of barbeque enthusiasts in the world.  The KCBS provides certified judges that utilize a blind judging process so they are unaware of what team has submitted entries. KCBS sanctions nearly 300 events across the country in 44 states. Chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket are the main categories and the entries are judged on taste, appearance, and texture.

The DDBQ committee members this year included: Lisa Gibson, Dick Jepson, Janet Hanlin, Butch Gordon, Andy Munao, Carol Stayton, Marsha Williams, Amy Rose, Kathy Meader, Mary Andersen, Tom Nikolai, Bill Nauta.  Many, many volunteers help with the myriad of duties such as directing parking, selling tickets, responding to the needs of the teams, trash pick-up and more.



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BBQ Preview

Posted: 8/22/2014

Already this afternoon the aroma of BBQ was tantalizing. Here are a few of the teams.





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Plum Island

Posted: 8/21/2014

 On September 6 Wisconsin Public Television was scheduled to present an  interview with Mary Beth Volmer about Plum Island and taped earlier this year on Plum Island.

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Lake Michigan temps

Posted: 8/21/2014

National Data Buoy Center temperatures on the water of Lake Michigan was reported on the 21st as 68.4* and the air temp was 68.8 degrees.

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Death's Door BBQ

Posted: 8/19/2014

The tent is up at the airport in preparation for the Death's Door BBQ. On Friday the teams will be setting up and prepping. On Saturday the grounds are open to the public starting at 10 A.M. Go to the Death's Door web site for more particulars. See you there!

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Island Fair

Posted: 8/17/2014

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The Lions Club sponsored Island Fair opened at 11 A.M. Food booths and tables selling items or providing information were set up. People arrived to take in the tastes, sights and sounds of the day. It was cloudy with a breeze most of the day but at least it wasn’t raining like the forecast had predicted. The Island Fair parade was led by a police car and ambulance. American Legion members followed carrying flags and behind them a four member group playing drums, flute, a cymbals. Several vehicles were driven in the parade. One was   a light blue convertible with riders including the Island’s oldest couple, Mildred and Dewey Jacobsen, and oldest man, Harold Greenfeldt. Dogs were walked that had been in the dog show competition at the ball park prior to the parade.  Antique vehicles were represented. There was a small “polka” group that invited bystanders to join in a dance.   Lions Club members rode in a big red wagon. The Red Hatters creatively hit the Fair parade theme, “The Polar Vortex to the Sunny Summer, From Snow Bunnies to Bikinis, - How We Survived the Winter”. They had a winter scene and a summer scene. Members on the float and walking behind showed off their purple and red colors.  Jeff Hagen pedaled daughter Sophia and son Finn in a two person carriage.  Delarwelle , running  for Sheriff , walked in the parade. Bethel Church was represented by Pastor Ryan and the youth band (including Andy and Joey Munao, and Steve Ervin) playing and singing. Small’s excavating had a small vehicle with “snow” on the back and an evergreen tree and snow shovels.  The Door County Maritime Museum had a float with a lighthouse on a truck and pulling a handmade wooden boat that people could bid on to win. Parade float winners were:  Commercial category - Small Excavating. Non-commercial winners were: First Place - Red Hatters ; Second Place was Bethel Church;  and Third Place was The Door County Maritime Museum.  Prizes were $75,  $50 and $25. After the parade it was time for lunches and desserts. About 1:30 BINGO began under the tent.  The Lions Club raffle drawing was held at about 4 P.M. Winners were: First Place for the raffle ($2000) was Kathleen Morris;  2nd place was ($1,000) Dale Thalman (Sleepy Hollow, Illinois);  Third Place was Lonny Johnson ($500);  and 4th Place was Marilyn Bjarnarson ($250).  The annual big Flea Market was held Sunday under the tent. A great chance to buy and/or sell your stuff.

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Fair Time!!

Posted: 8/15/2014

Fair Col Guard Front

Island Fair tomorrow!! Sponsored by the W.I. Lions Club. The Fair opens at 11 A.M. with the parade at noon. There will be great choices for lunch, booths selling merchandise, informational booths and tables, the Lions will have free vision tests for kids, the Community Center will have a variety of Fair entries from flowers and vegetables to art and photographs. The Rec Center will be hosting four inflatables and there will be BINGO under the tent. Take a break and celebrate summer before it is just a memory.

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Lions Club Raffle Tickets

Posted: 8/12/2014

Be sure to get your tickets at the Island Fair for the Lions Club 25th raffle prize drawing. 1st prize is #2,000 cash; 2nd is $1,000, 3rd is $500; 4th is $250!

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Posted: 8/12/2014

The 3rd annual Death’s Door Barbeque will be held at the Airport Friday and Saturday, August 24-25th. Open to the public at 10 A.M. on Saturday when barbeque and other vendors will be selling. Music will be provided by Annabelle and Jesse Hansen and Magician Nickey Fynn will perform in the afternoon. The awards ceremony will be held under the tent from 4:30-5:30 to wrap up the event. Categories are chicken, pork ribs, pork, beef brisket, and dessert. Go to the website for more information :

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New book

Posted: 8/12/2014

Dick Purinton has released a new book, “Poem, Prose & Image - Lines and Forms”.  It includes, as the title suggests, bits of poetry and fiction and photos of sculptures. The books are available for sale at several Island business locations including the Ferry Line customer service counter, or via Dick’s web site:  Dick is an accomplished photographer, writer, and he has enjoyed extending his creativity to large yard sculptures. These are displayed at various locations on their private property.

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Road work

Posted: 8/11/2014

Work has begun on Jackson Harbor Road so drive carefully and patiently.Buzzards keep watch at the piles of road work materials.   



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Ready for the Island Fair?

Posted: 8/10/2014

  • Ingredients for baked goods to enter in the fair.
  • Prize worthy vegetables eyed for displaying at the fair.
  • Flowers chosen for bouquets to display at the fair.
  • Float decorations assembled and people involved contacted.
  • Kate Kaniff contacted that you will have a float in the parade.
  • Art and craft creations ready for entry.
  • Sewing, knitting, etc. items ready for entry at the Fair.
  • Photographs ready to enter at the Fair.               

Be sure to follow guidlines for entering items for the Fair. If you didn't get an information packet as a boxholder, contact the library or town office to see how to get a copy.

See you at the Fair!


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Birds of Chicago

Posted: 8/10/2014

The “Birds of Chicago” will be performing at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center on Saturday at 7:30 P.M.  JT Nero (Jeremy Lindsay, son of local parents Ben and Norene) and his wife, Allison Russell, bring a style all their own of folk and soul elements. The “Birds” have performed around the U.S. and Europe. They were married on the Island and now have a beautiful daughter, Ida, born December 30, 2013.

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Scandinavian heritage building

Posted: 8/8/2014

This Scandinavian style building was moved from Door County to the Island by Scott Sonoc and Marsha Williams. It was placed amidst the lavender field at the site of the Historic Island Dairy. True to the architecture of these buildings, there are beautiful wood carvings.

Carving Door

Door Closer

Scan Bldg

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Plum Island update

Posted: 8/7/2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands (FOPPI) will be hosting two special visitor access days on Plum Island which is part of Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  It will be open for hiking, wildlife observation and photography on August 16 and 23 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  During this special opening, FOPPI members and staff from theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be present to showcase ongoing projects, such as the “Women in Preservation” program and the stabilization of historic structures, and to answer questions about the refuge’s wildlife and cultural resources on the island. Members of the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands have been diligently fundraising and planning to address critical needs on Plum Island, performing much needed stabilization and restoration work to the historic buildings and dock, removing invasive species and preparing for public access by installing trail signs, clearing hiking trails, getting temporary bathroom facilities in place, and building a welcome kiosk and other interpretive signage that will educate visitors about the unique wildlife resources and maritime history the island and refuge has to offer.  These are just a few of the projects that are scheduled for completion before the island may be opened permanently to public visitation – planned for Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2015. For these two special access days, visitors may access Plum Island via private motorboats, sailboats, kayaks and canoes or private charter boat service. Due to the fragile nature of natural communities, docking boats at undesignated beach areas will not be permitted. Boats will be required to moor at designated areas at the dock and space is available on a first-come first-served basis. A launch/landing area will also be designated for kayaks and canoes near the dock. Commercially guided programs are not currently allowed on Plum Island. Public access will be limited to the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. by foot travel only. Restrooms are available on the island but drinking water and garbage cans are not. Visit For more information about the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands and projects visit (reprinted in part from a news release)

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Festive Fest

Posted: 8/3/2014

Scand Stage All

The 66th Scandinavian Song and Dance Fest included over 100 dancers this year under the direction of Kari Sena Gordon and her assistant, Mary Grace Wagner. Junior assistants were Maggie Schmitz, Morgan Roberts, Britta Sevcik, and Josie Hansen. Dan Hansen set up and ran the sound system. For the second year Laura Shellswick was the emcee. Barb O’Connell did her amazing job of making sure costumes, including tables full of black shoes, were matched perfectly with each dancer. Accompanists on piano: Kari Gordon, Jonathan Bass, Barb O’Connell, Christine Schmitz. Violinists: Jennifer Munao and Melissa Mutchler.   The evening was perfect. Not windy but warm and after the sunset, cool. Each year brings new participants and surprises. Thanks to all who help make this event a huge success. All profits go to the Community Center Committee to be used on improvements and upkeep of the Community Center, support of the Red Cross Free Swimming Lessons, and the Red Barn and other community improvements.

Scand Older Dancers 2

Scand Jean Tug

Scand Little Girls

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Music Fest August 4-15

Posted: 8/1/2014

The annual Washington Island Music Festival begins August 4. Stephen Colburn is the artistic director. Samantha George will provide special insights one half hour before the concerts. On the 4th there will be a concert at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center (TPAC) at 7:30 P.M. There will be "Appreciate Music" at the Red Barn at 10 A.M. on the 6th (Free). August 7 is a concert at 7:30 P.M. at the TPAC. August 8 is again at the Red Barn at 10 A.M. with Samantha George, "Appreciate Music". An open rehearsal (free) will be held at the TPAC on August 9 at 10 A.M. August 10, a concert will be held at 4:30 P.M. at the TPAC. August 12 is a lecture and discussion with festival artists. The popular children's concert (free) will be on the 13th at 11 A.M. This includes children from the music camp and Island Players. Thursday there is an "appreciate music" at the Red Barn at 10 A.M. with Samantha George. Remember "Under the Big Top" Thursday night under the tent at the school yard at 7:30 P.M. Julian Hagen and Cindra Hokkanen are the directors. The final concert is at the TPAC at 7:30 P.M. on the 15th. Tickets are sold at the door. Want more information? Go to

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