The 60th anniversary of the Million Penny Parade will be held May 25 in conjunction with the 125th birthday of the town of Woodruff.
The festivities will include a parade, arts and crafts show, petting zoo, live auction, musical entertainment, car show, games, food and much more. The parade will start at 1 p.m. and a live auction will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Items for the auction include gift certificates, vacations, antiques and more. Most of the festivities will take place on the block off of 2nd Avenue in Woodruff and behind One Penny Place. The car show will be held at the community building.
The original Penny Parade was held on Memorial Day in 1953 after 17 students from Arbor Vitae-Woodruff High School collected one million pennies to donate to the hospital fund drive. The students collected pennies from 48 states and 26 countries across the world so a hospital could be built in the community.
The hospital fund drive was inspired by Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb, who practiced medicine in the Northwoods for more than 20 years beginning in 1931. She treated trappers, Native Americans, locals and tourists alike. She would tie on her snowshoes or travel by canoe and face the elements. She was inducted into the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa tribe as “The Lady of the North” in 1954 and was featured on the television program This is Your Life. In 1956, the biography Dr. Kate: Angel on Snowshoes was published. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the festival or the Dr. Kate Museum.
The Dr. Kate Museum is located in Woodruff and is organizing the festival. For more information, call (715) 356-5562 or log on to dr.katemuseum.org.