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Tell Festival turns 75
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NEW GLARUS - The Wilhelm Tell Festival will celebrate its 75th birthday this year when festivities begin Friday, August 31 at the Wilhelm Tell Shooting Park.

The opening ceremony will feature a balloon launch, costumed cast members, highlights from past Tell productions and the children's Laternenzug (lantern parade) from the Tell Shooting Park to the fest tent in downtown New Glarus.

The weekend's marquee event will be Freidrich von Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell," a celebration of the legendary Swiss hero. New Glarus' annual open-air theatrical experience - and preshow entertainment including the Swiss Miss Dancers and Bell Ringers - will be staged in English at the Wilhelm Tell Grounds amphitheater at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 and 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2.

To commemorate the 75th year of Wilhelm Tell, the cast will stage one performance in German, at 2 p.m. Sunday, reenacting the script first performed in New Glarus in 1938.

In addition to the historic play, the festival will include a weekend of Swiss culture.

The New Glarus Maennerchor, Jodleklub, Kinderchor, dancers and musicians will entertain. Alphorns, a parade, a yodel showcase, and an interfaith worship service are on the festival schedule. Back by demand is an ethnic fashion show featuring traditional Swiss, German and Norwegian dress; the 50th annual juried Art in the Park show; and the Friends of the Library book sale.

The festival concludes on Sunday, Sept. 2 with a street dance at the fest tent. Savory Swiss food and beverages will be served throughout the weekend.

For a festival schedule, visit or contact the New Glarus Chamber at (608) 527-2095. For volunteer opportunities, email