Cherry Pickin's

A 70-year tradition lives on at the Washington County Fair | By Ife Ekunsanmi

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July 29, 2017 – Washington Co., WI – After 70 years they’re back! Meet Pat Behnke from Milwaukee and Marion Thoma from West Bend.

These two childhood friends grew up in Slinger and attended the Washington County Fair during its Slinger days.

During the late 1940s, these two best friends came out to the fair every year and enjoyed all that it had to offer. Yet, there was one tradition that was steadfast over time: the Ferris Wheel.

Pat found joy in shaking the ride and making her friend shake with it.

Over the years, Pat and Marion exchanged letters, jokes, and Ferris Wheel themed items in remembrance of their childhood summer pastime.

When they caught wind of the biggest Ferris Wheel coming to the Wisconsin State Fair, they sent each other letters joking about heading out for another ride.

Though they didn’t go big, they didn’t go home. A lot has changed in the last 70 years here at the Washington County Fair, but Pat and Marion’s tradition still lives on!

Now 84, these ladies are still as fun as ever!

Pat is still living the dare-devil life and swinging the seat, while Marion is still enduring it.


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