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Waseca Goes Back in Time at Chautauqua

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Waseca residents gathered at Maplewood Park this afternoon for a cultural and historic recreation of the traveling lecturers and entertainers that came through Waseca starting in 1883. For the tenth year Waseca was home to a Chautaugua.  

Waseca Historical Society's Joan Mooney says, "What it is, it brings the mission of the Chautaugua, which is to bring arts and culture to rural America."

Host Paul Warshauer says, "Chautaugua started in upstate New York literally 139 years ago this month. And it was a bunch of people from the cities that still wanted to continue learning but didn't want to go to a university, didn't want to pay all that money, so they set these tents up all around the country. It started in Chautauqua, New York and they traveled all over the country with famous lecturers, musicians, opera companies, actors, and they went on this big circuit starting in New York and all around the country, and much of it is what you hear today."

Waseca became one of the hot spots for the travelers who brought their musical talents and art to southern Minnesota. 

Luna, a wolf made entirely out of recycled materials. She comes all the way from Minneapolis and was part of a puppet theater, just one of the many entertainers throughout the day.

Other events included speeches and live music.

Cost of admission to the annual Chautauqua was a nickel because that was the entrance fee 139 years ago.