Follies 2017

by Corene Martin, Courier Press

Caution: Exposure to the Fun Raising Follies in Prairie du Chien may cause sudden outbursts of joy, happiness and uncontrollable laughter.
The Mississippi River Sculpture Park is a non-profit organization whose goal is to preserve area heritage and history of Prairie du Chien, Marquette and McGregor. Every year, in January, the sculpture park committee hosts the Fun Raising Follies, a community variety show featuring all local talent.
This year, the Follies will take place Jan. 6-7, in the Prairie du Chien High School Little Theater. Performances are Friday, Jan. 6, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets may be purchased in advance at Zinkle’s Piggly Wiggly and True Value or at the door. There’s usually a full house, so people are encouraged to buy tickets early. At each show, there will also be 50/50 raffles, basket raffles, bottled water sales and photo opportunities and autograph opportunities with the local participating celebrities.
“It’s always a let down after Christmas, so this is a good time to come out and laugh,” said Cindy Hertrampf, one of the event’s organizers. “The acts we have are all different. The music, comedy and the acts are all taken from the Ed Sullivan Show, around 1948-71, so they’re all recognizable.”
New this year, the committee is offering businesses and families the chance to sponsor an act and be part of the Follies. For a tax-free donation of $100, at a minimum, businesses and families will be advertised between acts. In exchange, each sponsor will receive four tickets to any of the shows.
“We thought this would be a good way for us to not only earn more money, but also advertise the businesses that support us,” Hertrampf explained. “Signs for our sponsors will come across the stage at all three shows and, at the end, we’ll have a thank you in the paper acknowledging them as well.”
This year promises to be the most exciting ever. Consider attending and meeting the folks who so generously share their time and talents to entertain the community during the cold winter months.
“Cousin Cletus will be back again this year and so Tom Nelson will be too. It wouldn’t be a show without him,” Hertrampf chuckled.
Funds raised at the Follies will be used to create and install the next sculpture at the Mississippi River Sculpture Park, Marianne LaBuche, a remarkable woman who was Wisconsin’s first healer. There are many descendants of Marianne LaBuche. Maybe your family name has some ties. Visit www.statuepark.org to learn more. Also on the website, visitors can find videos, photos from previous performances and information about the sculpture park.
The sculpture park committee is still on the lower end of its fundraising for the LaBuche statue, but Hertrampf said they hope to make a big push and get the statue completed and installed in the park within the next two years.
For more information, call Hertrampf at 326-4326.