As we noted in our last post The First Years of Snowfest, Snowfest came to an abrupt halt in 1941 with the onset of World War II. The sons and brothers of Two Rivers as well as the industries of the day were called into the war effort. Thank you for the service you provided and the freedom to enjoy things such as Snowfest.
World War II came and went and then the Korea War’s rise in the last years of the 1940’s to the early 1950’s again kept Two Rivers in the war effort. Many thought that Snowfest might never come back, a casualty of the war and the times that surrounded it. However in 1958 the Two Rivers Lions still felt that Two Rivers was the “Coolest Spot in Wisconsin” and sought to bring Snowfest back.
This time the Lions sought the help of organizations like the Rotary, VFW Post and the Two Rivers Junior Chamber of Commerce (what would become the Jaycees) in helping to bring this event back. It was now a three day event around the 4th of July with a large parade on July 4th. A Herald Times Reporter article from 1963 notes that the previous year 1962 saw over 30,000 attend the parade. This at the time marked the largest attendance ever at the parade.
The Two Rivers Lions ran Snowfest for three years before handing the reigns to the Chamber of Commerce who ran it in 1962 before reaching out for help to make the event bigger and more successful. Like the Lions the Chamber of Commerce sought the support of local business as sponsors as well as local service organizations to help support all of the great things that came to be part of what people remembered as Snowfest. From 1963 until the early 1970’s the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations ran Snowfest as a successful event.
Like the early Snowfest events in Two Rivers, buttons were sold by business and also by girls competing to be the Snow Queen for that year’s event. Each year, young ladies worked to sell the most buttons with that being one of the factors that lead to the selection of that year’s Snow Queen. Some of the buttons from the 1960’s are shown below.
The carnival and music continued to be large parts of what made Snowfest unique. Some of the biggest musical acts of the time found their ways to the stage at Snowfest keeping fans young and old alike bopping along.
Additionally, as this event was scheduled around the 4th of July patriotic events such as having drug and bugle corps as part of the parade, bringing war ships to tour to the harbor, coordinating Air Force Fly overs and celebrating our veterans all became part of what many associated with Snowfest. Organizations like the VFW, Gold Star Mothers, as well as the American Legion supported Snowfest.
As the years ticked along the great things people associated with Snowfest continued to be supported by the Chamber of Commerce and ultimately the Junior Chamber of Commerce as well as other organizations for the next 48 years consecutively. A true celebration of the Coolest Spot in Wisconsin.
The Friends of Two Rivers Snowfest plan to bring the same fun and excitement back to Two Rivers with Snowfest 2020. Although we might not be able to host a three mile long parade as they have done in the past we do plan to do our best….
In our next installment we will discuss the Final years of Snowfest when the Jaycees took the reins. We’ll look at some of the great events that were part of the heyday of Snowfest and also talk a little about some of the things that caused it to go by the wayside. Check back in a few weeks for more on the history of Snowfest.