The Westby Flora Garden Club hosted a “Vintage Bridal Show and Tea” on Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Huntington Wedding Barn east of Viroqua.

The spectacular event earmarked all proceeds to be directed toward the creation of a new Westby Norse Fund Scholarship to be awarded to a student entering a agriculture/horticulture related field, which somehow keeps the art of gardening blooming for future generations.

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The Westby Flora Garden Club was formed in 1976 and consists of a small group of women looking to beautify the community. Membership has fluctuated over the years, with five original members still active in the club today, Betty Stoleson, Cindy Langhus, Patricia Olson, Louise Simonson and Carol Sorenson. Current membership stands at 12, including the five original members, along with Roberta Erlandson, Diane Hunter, Marilyn Jensen, Hanna Lobeck, Pattea Lochen, Anna Moilien and Ila Olson.

In recognition of the a club’s upcoming Ruby Anniversary, the group voted to create a scholarship, one they hope to continue to offer for years to come. To fund the new scholarship the group hosted a vintage bridal show featuring 21 models wearing wedding attire from the 1930s to present day.

“This is a historical view of matrimony. Some of the dresses belong to our own members, or their mothers, making it an extra special show for the group,” Stoleson said.

The event was held in the Huntington Barn, an enchanting Gothic Style Barn that offers full service for weddings, reunions, graduations, conferences and other unique events. The barn is part of a 135 acre private estate, surrounded by beautiful landscaped grounds outside Viroqua.

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Diane Hunter, a member of the Westby Flora Garden Club, offered to host the event at the family business, which for the past 15 years has held square dances, Art in the Barn, church services, birthday parties, school plays and weddings.

Westby Flora Garden Club members spent countless hours preparing food and decorating the interior and tables for the special event. Approximately 100 people were in attendance and treated to an hour long display of vintage wedding and bridesmaid attire. There was even a “Just Married” car, with cans attached to the fender for effect.

“This was a lot of fun and although not everything went like clockwork, everyone had a great time regardless of some small glitches. We already learned that next time we can cut back on the amount of food,” Carol Sorenson, the master of ceremonies said.

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