Tell Festival

Tell (Wilhelm) Festival

September, Labor Day weekend
New Glarus, Wisconsin, was settled by a group of Swiss immigrants in 1845 and is still referred to as "Little Switzerland." It is the location of several annual events designed to draw attention to the area's Swiss heritage. These include the Heidi Festival in June and the Volksfest in August. But one of the most popular is the Wilhelm Tell Pageant that has been performed each year on Labor Day weekend since 1938.
The highlight of the William Tell story, of course, is the famous "apple scene" where the imprisoned patriot is given a chance at freedom if he can shoot an apple off his son's head. The play includes performances by the famous New Glarus yodelers and the costumed usherettes, who perform Swiss folk dances. The play is given in Swiss-German on Sunday afternoon and in English on Saturday and Monday. The pageant weekend includes dancing on the green, Swiss singing, and other traditional Swiss forms of entertainment.
See also William Tell Play
New Glarus Chamber of Commerce
418 Railroad St.
New Glarus, WI 53574
800-527-6838 or 608-527-2095; fax: 608-527-4991
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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Apart from the William Tell Festival performances which incorporate an Alpine Festival, outdoor art fair and an ethnic costume show, there is a full round of other Swiss-inspired events in the town during the year, including a Heidi Festival in June.