Hawaiian Summer in Greendale for Valentines Weekend!

Week No. 34: Hawaiian Summer was the theme for the 2013 winter event on Broad Street. And the Greendale Ice Rink is gaining a lot of fans.

History records and explains past events, while folklore preserves what people widely remember.

History and Folklore!

On Saturday Feb. 9, the Greendale Village Business Association held its annual winter event on Broad Street. The events name, ‘I Left My Heart On Broad Street’, refers to its date always near or on Valentine’s Day. This year the theme of Hawaiian Summer added some fun entertainment and warmth to the days’ activities, including:

Ice Sculpting contest with the Hawaiian theme for the sculptures.

Chili cook-off (Hawaiian Chili with Spam???)

Ice skating on the Greendale Ice Rink

Penguin Bowling for the kids (Penguins in Hawaii???)

Store and Restaurant specials

Hawaiian-style wedding vow renewals

Hawaiian dance and entertainment

The Halo O Malo musicians and dancers entertained with authentic Hawaiian perfomances. There were Ukukele demonstrations, Hula demonstrations, and Hawaiian music and songs. Artifacts from Hawaii were on display, the history and culture of Hawaii were briefly explained, and the audience was able to ask questions and participate in some of the demonstrations. Halo O Malo teaches classes in Hula and Ukulele thru the Greendale Park & Recreation Department for kids and adults. What fun! 

There was a chili contest with contestants sponsored by different stores. People went from store to store, sampled the chili and then voted on each. At the end of the day the votes were tabulated and the chili contest winners and store sponsors were:

  • Larry Hollis         Savor the Flavor
  • Susan Sroka       Shoppe Around the Corner
  • Will                    Village Hair Design                    

The ice carving contest followed the Hawaiian theme and the different stores sponsored the contestants by providing them with a block of ice to carve outside their door. The ice carving contest winners and sponsors were:

  • Brett Heisman             Visitor Center
  • Katie Rambo Fons       Joey Gerards
  • Peter Vehmas             Shoppe Around the corner

There was one special ice sculpture carved celebrating Greendale’s 75th Anniversary this year. A large 75 was carved by Steve Peters in front of the Greendale Village Hall. Saturday night it was illuminated by a green light and looked awesome.

Finally, the Greendale Visitor Center sponsored a Wedding Vow Renewal ceremony for couples in honor of Valentine’s Day. They have been doing this for years, and my wife ‘encouraged’ me to join in the fun this year. Seventeen couples renewed their vows. The ceremony performed by Associate Pastor Rob Warnell of the Fox River Christian Church was meaningful and joyful. This year in keeping with the days’ theme the ceremony had a Hawaiian flavor to it. A singer from the Halo O Malo Hawaiian group sang the Hawaiian Wedding Song and another performed the Hawaiian Wedding Dance. It was awesome. You can see the entire ceremony on the Greendale Visitor Center website.

If you missed this years ‘I Left My Heart On Broad Street’ event, you missed one great day of fun in the Village. Thank you Greendale Village Business Association for putting on this annual winter event.

But did you know?

No one knows exactly when the Hawaiian Islands were first inhabited by the Polynesians who travelled there in double-hulled canoes. But a sea chart from 1551 refers to the islands. Then in 1778 Captain James Cook stumbled onto them and he named them the Sandwich Islands. Similarly, the origins of the hula as a dance form are only known thru various legends. The hula is a complex art form where hand motions are used to represent the words in a song or chant. It is rich in meaning and while there are other variations from other Polynesian Islands, the hula is unique to the Hawaiian Islands.

Protestant missionaries who arrived in the 1820’s denounced the dance as heathen. As the nobility and royalty of the islands were Christianized they were urged to ban the hula, which they did. However, it was still practiced in secrecy, and then during the reign of King David Kalākaua (1874–1891), it was restored. While today there is a modern variation of the hula as popularized in the movies, the traditional hula is still performed and taught.

The origin of the Hawaiian language is from a Polynesian language of the South Pacific, most likely Marquesan or Tahitian. It takes its name from the largest island, Hawaii. The British explorer James Cook in 1778 spelled the name in English as "Owhyhee" or "Owhyee". As foreign settlers and languages inhabited the islands, the use of the Hawaiian language gradually declined. Many native speakers of the language died from the diseases brought by settlers, and others voluntarily abandoned it thinking English was the path to a more modern world.

While never officially banned, English was decreed the official language to be taught in schools by the late 1880’s, and children were punished if they spoke it. Then in 1949 the legislature commissioned a new Hawaiian dictionary to be written, which was published in 1957. Since 1957 there has been a renewed interest in the Hawaiian language. English is still the first language of all of the Hawaiian Islands except one.

The isolated island of Niihau, located off the southwest coast of Kauai, is the one island where Hawaiian is still spoken as the language of daily life. Children are taught Hawaiian as a first language, and learn English at about age eight.” Wikipedia

People, Past & Present!

In the summer of 2010 a small group of Greendale citizens thought an ice rink would be fun addition to the community. Not that an ice rink in Greendale was a new idea. In the early years there was ice skating on Dale Creek, at times an ice rink on Brinkman Field and on the tennis courts near the corner of Schoolway and Broad Street. Later Scout Lake was available for skating. But with changing weather conditions and the problems associated with maintaining a rink on the open body of water, Scout Lake stopped being feasible.

Others communities still had ice skating rinks, why not Greendale the citizen group thought. Without much fanfare and very informally they raised money, developed a plan, and approached the School District and School Board about a trial run. The site in front of the Greendale Middle School was selected, and the Greendale Park & Recreation Department would manage the ice rink utilizing the funds raised. The first season, 2010-11, was a success followed by 2011-12, and now the third season 2012-13.

Weather conditions continue to be somewhat of a problem for the Greendale Ice Rink. The fluctuation between warm and cold weather makes for inconsistent ice. However, this has not deterred the citizen group from actively looking at future improvements, and continuing to raise money for the annual maintenance of the rink. Nor has it affected the enthusiasm of its fans for this fun, ‘free’ winter activity on Broad Street. So grab your skates, the family and spend a few hours enjoying one of Greendale’s newest attractions, the Greendale Ice Rink. (Editor’s note: Check the website for rules & regulations as well as the current ice conditions.)

Greendale Ice Rink Citizens Group: Mark Kapocius, Betty Ferchoff, Chris Greenberg, John Greenberg, Josh Neudorfer, Donna & Guy Ouelette, and Jackie Schweitzer. (PS Let me know if I missed anyone.)

Greendale Trivia Question and Answer:

Week#35 Answer - Greendale is a planned community. Space was allocated for churches, businesses, government, police, fire, public works, housing, walking paths, parks, green space etc. But there were some things not planned for. Two things I noticed not planned for were a hospital and a cemetery. The hospital I can understand, but the cemetery is a curious one.

Week#34 Question – Here’s a question that I don’t expect many to know the answer to, but it is interesting. When was the flag pole in front of Village Hall dedicated?

** Week #34 contributors Wisconsin Historical Society, Betty Ferchoff, Greendale Village Business Association, Greendale Visitor Center, Sally Chadwick, Wikipedia.


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