Sister Bay's 8th Annual "Roofing of the Goats Parade" Scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2020
(July 2019) The Sister Bay Advancement Association (SBAA) has announced that the 8th Annual Roofing of the Goats Parade in 2020 is scheduled for Saturday, June 13th on Hwy 42 in downtown Sister Bay.
Comprised of skittish, short-attention-span, but usually lovable goats from Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant, Door County Creamery and local goat farmers, Sister Bay's annual Goat Parade has become, after a difficult start the first year (2013), a much-anticipated beginning to the new tourism season in northern Door County.
The Parade will start at Mill Rd. and State Highway 42, just down the road from Door County Creamery, and then move further south 1/4 mile to Al Johnson's, where some of the goats will be led up to the restaurant's green sod roof (hence the parade name, "Roofing of the Goats"). Highway 42 is closed to all motorized traffic both immediately before and during the parade, from approximately 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. (Note to parade-watchers: please don't bring otherwise-friendly dogs to the parade, as goats are notoriously terrified of them.)
For various reasons, goats have proliferated in Door County in recent years, but it all started with Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant, which, after a birthday prank between Wink Larson and Al Johnson, famously started putting goats on its renowned green sod roof in 1973. Door County Creamery now has over 100 milk-producing goats on its Sister Bay dairy farm, while Al Johnson's keeps several dozen goats on a Sister Bay farm, where its goat barn features a live feed of soothing Wisconsin Public Radio broadcasts.
Although attendance along the parade route has doubled every year, weather remains an important element to a successful Goat Parade. The first Goat Parade in 2013 featured no goats at all due to inclement weather that included high winds, sleet, snow, and inside-out umbrellas. During the 2nd Annual Goat Parade, the weather was beautiful and featured one of Al Johnson's veteran goats, Inky, who was led through the parade route by Rolf Johnson.
"Goat drop stickers" will be available at Hwy 42 roadside booths throughout Sister Bay for $10 each, and at the Sister Bay Advancement Association (SBAA) office, Al Johnson's, and Husby's Food & Spirits. The goat stickers are a fundraiser for Koinonia Kupboard, a food pantrymanaged by First Baptist Church of Sister Bay. If a goat poops on your sticker during the parade, you couldwin one of several prizes. The prize drawing will occur immediately after the parade, at Stabbur Beer Garden at Al Johnson's.
This year's Goat Parade will be followed by Al Johnson's 5th Annual Goat Fest, at Stabbur at Al Johnson's, the popular beer garden located next door to the restaurant at 10698 N. Bay Shore Drive. Goat Fest starts at 12 noon and will feature live music, fun kids' games, various beverages, special food dishes, a Swedish Pancake-Eating Contest, and a highly competitive "stein holding" contest. Other downtown Sister Bay businesses are offering their own festivities and specials.
At the end of the parade, Al Johnson's goats will be led up onto the business's green sod roof, inaugurating yet another season of goat-watching in northern Door County. Al Johnson's goats can then be viewed all season on the online streaming-video Goat Cam: www.aljohnsons.com/goat-cam.