Three celebrity judges will face the challenging task of choosing the top entries in Baraboo’s Big Top Parade on June 24. Restaurateur Craig Culver, television news anchor Charlotte Deleste and “Alice in Dairyland” Taylor Schaefer will lead the parade before being dropped off at the judges’ stand for their official duties.
“We’re thrilled to have such luminaries participating in our parade,” said Nanci Caflisch, chair of the Big Top Parade organizing committee. “With dozens of entries featuring historic wagons, brass bands, clowns and community groups, our judges will have their work cut out for them.”
The June 24 parade through the streets of downtown Baraboo will be the centerpiece of a weekend full of circus-themed fun in the community. This will mark the final parade for Circus World’s elephants, who will retire to a wildlife sanctuary after this performance season. The elephants are serving as the parade’s Grand Marshals.
“It’s fitting that this year’s parade will celebrate the elephants’ years of service to this event, the Baraboo community and to Circus World,” said Scott O’Donnell, Executive Director of Circus World. “This year’s parade is not to be missed!”
Evaluating each entry will be Deleste, anchor for “News 3 Now” at WISC-TV in Madison; Schaefer, a Franksville native serving as the 75th Alice in Dairyland; and Culver, the entrepreneur whose family of 900 restaurants serves meals in 26 states. The judges will choose the parade’s top overall entry, as well as the best commercial and nonprofit entries.
Upwards of 75 entries are expected for the parade, which will step off at 11 a.m. on June 24. This year’s parade will share the “Go West” theme adopted for this summer’s big top show at Circus World. All in the parade – including the judges – will be encouraged to sport Western wear.
“We’re planning a rootin’ tootin’ weekend here in the Circus City,” said George Althoff, Executive Director of the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce. “We couldn’t do it without volunteers. We’re much obliged to this year’s celebrity judges and all the townsfolk who make this hullabaloo possible.”
Watch for updates on the parade and related events at bigtopparade.com.