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A yellow-painted rock was placed in the Hudson Community Rain Garden to mark the Yellowstone Trail. Among those at the event were, front from left, Linda White, Evy Nerbonne and the young rock painter Lily O’Brien; back, Jacki Bradham, Ramona Robinson, Kevin O’Brien and Buck Malick. (Submitted photo)
A yellow-painted rock was placed in the Hudson Community Rain Garden to mark the Yellowstone Trail. Among those at the event were, front from left, Linda White, Evy Nerbonne and the young rock painter Lily O’Brien; back, Jacki Bradham, Ramona Robinson, Kevin O’Brien and Buck Malick. (Submitted photo)

Yellowstone Trail Heritage Days celebration is this weekend

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life River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Hudson’s annual Yellowstone Trail Heritage Days celebration Saturday and Sunday offers a variety of family friendly activities.

Saturday’s highlights include a vintage and classic car show and a nonprofit community fair at Lakefront Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Master Gardeners plant sale at the Octagon House museum is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Ciranda organic garden tour is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. History fans will enjoy the Willow River cemetery walk from noon to 3:30 p.m.

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Sunday offers a homemade pie and ice cream social from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and a showing of “The History of Hudson” movie at noon at the First Baptist Church. The Historical Society will offer downtown history walking tours at noon and 1 p.m.

On both days many of the downtown businesses will offer Yellowstone Trail specials. Take a drive on the Yellowstone Trail and stop by My Sister’s Garden for a free marigold and yellow plant specials.

A complete schedule appears in the Yellowstone Trail special insert in this week’s Hudson Star-Observer. The insert will also be available at Lakefront Park, at the Hudson Area Chamber office or at the Octagon House museum.

The historic Yellowstone Trail has an interesting past. Early roads were crude, muddy and often impassable. In 1912 a group of small town businessmen from South Dakota formed the Yellowstone Trail Association to “get out of the mud” and to pressure counties to build usable automobile roads.

The Yellowstone Trail was the first coast-to-coast auto route across the northern tier of states. It drew tourists to the Yellowstone National Park. Early travel was difficult and without maps tourists relied on guidebooks and yellow rocks that lined the trail to find their way.

One hundred years have passed and communities across the country are now working to build awareness of the Yellowstone Trail with celebrations like Hudson’s Yellowstone Trail Heritage Days.

The renewed interest in the trail has led to efforts to mark the trail. In 2010 several road signs were erected to mark the Yellowstone Trail’s route through Hudson. Yellow-painted rocks have also been placed at several locations along the trail in Hudson. The most recent rock was placed in the Hudson Community Rain Garden on the corner of St. Croix and Seventh streets.

The rain garden was created in 2011 to divert dirty storm runoff water that used to enter Lake Mallalieu through the storm sewer system. Silt and phosphorus from the storm water is now absorbed and filtered by the garden’s soil. The new yellow rock was placed next to the large sitting rock at the edge of the garden. Learn more about the garden at www.artfulraingarden.net.

Yellowstone Trail Heritage Days information is available on the Hudson Chamber’s Tourism website at www.SayHelloToHudson.com under “events” or search for St Croix County Yellowstone Trail on Facebook.

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