A highlight of Strawberry Fest, set for June 20-22, has been the model train show.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Strawberry Fest Model Train Show is held at the Waupaca Recreation Center, three blocks east of downtown at the intersection of State and Badger streets.
The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 21-22.
A dozen clubs will display their model railroads. Mark Lasse and Fred Ferkus, award-winning master modelers, will join other modelers in giving continuous demonstrations on how they make their layouts.
Children can switch a train with Conductor Carlson, play with Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends from Chuggington Station, watch trains travel through make believe worlds and participate in the train races.
Model railroad enthusiasts will also find vendor and swap tables at the show.
New to the show this year will be train races, a new Lego layout, and a bigger N-scale layout.
There will also be a model contest. Participants may enter trains, cars, trucks, ships, buildings and even Legos. For more information on the contest, go towww.wamrltd.com for details.
The Waupaca Historical Society will host an open house at the Waupaca train depot on Saturday only
Located just past the Oak Street bridge at the top of the hill, the depot was built in 1907. After purchasing the deteriorating structure in 2004, members of the historical society began the arduous project of restoring the depot.
At the open house, visitors can tour the building, hear music from the vintage player piano, and see the Model T depot hack and the baggage car from the old Waupaca Electric Railroad.
The model train show is sponsored by Waupaca Area Model Railroaders, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The group was incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization in the late 1980s to promote model railroading. Members teach skills in layout construction, wiring and controls, scenery and operation.
The club’s modular portable layout will be running during the show. It has been continuously updated and more than doubled in size since it was started in 1988.
This award-winning layout has been run at National Model Railroad Association’s National Convention in Denver, Colo., and in numerous cities throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The club has also been active in preservation of the railroad history. The restored Waupaca Electric Railway baggage car and its pictorial history have been displayed at community events. A historical booklet about the Electric Railway was published, and the club has assisted in the restoration of an early 1900s Duluth, Messabe & Iron Range caboose. Some members are involved with the depot restoration.
The club actively supports the local community by awarding educational scholarships, supporting the Waupaca Area Food Bank and the Waupaca Recreation Department
Members come from Waupaca, Steven Point, Plover, Amherst, Manawa, Weyauwega, Larson and Wild Rose. The club meets Thursday evenings at various members’ homes to assist them in building and operating their own railroad layouts.
For more information on the club or the Strawberry Fest Train Show and Model Contest, contact Dennis Cook at 715-824-2045 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.