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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Image courtesy: Mike Day. Kendall C. Day family collection.
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

WINTER WONDERLAND. Approximately 72 official events combined with on-going tri-state winter activities were scheduled for the nine-day event in 1983. The overall event was planned to be part of the sesquicentennial. Planning began in July, 1982 with fundraising activities directed by Wonderland Executive Director John Schublin including the sale of Winter Wonderland buttons sold in advance and sterling silver medallions being minted for sale. (1)

The winter festival of February 4 and 5, 1984 included the First Annual Wunderbear Balloon Race. The two-part two-day race featured a Hare and Hound Race on Saturday and a CTN Race on Sunday. Twenty entering balloons were launched from Hillcrest and JFK with one taking a head-start and the other trying to catch it. The Sunday event had the participating balloons converging on a target area. Each balloonist dropped a bag trying to hit a target. (2)

A new feature for the 1985 Wonderland was an art and antique auction at FIVE FLAGS CIVIC CENTER. Advertising for the auction was carried by regional and national publications with all commissions going to the Winter Wonderland organization. (3)

The fourth annual winter festival was a month long--three times the length of the event in 1985.

This event was renamed WINTERFEST. (4)



1. Drouin-Smith, Marcia. "Winter Wonderland I Plans Blizzard of Events," Telegraph Herald January 26, 1983, p. 14

2. Advertisement. Telegraph Herald, January 25 1984, p. 40

3. Demarest, Dussti. "400 Art, Antique Items to be Offered at Auction," Telegraph Herald January 23, 1985, p. 18

4. Demarest, Dusti. "Fest Tries New Name, Events," Telegraph Herald, January 22, 1986, p. 26