A life size plaster facsimile of the Greek Acropolis.
A 75 foot Trojan horse.
Broadway dinner theater.
A mansion-size house completely turned upside down and turned into a funhouse.
Groups of French, Russian and Italian speaking teenagers.
Where can you find all of these oddities?
In the middle of Wisconsin, that’s where.
Yes, nestled in a cavity surrounded by some of the most beautiful river ways in the nation - and unbeknownst outside of the Midwest - lies the Wisconsin Dells - a Vegas-style vacation mecca complete with palm trees and gaudy neon signs advertising strip motels, water parks, ferris wheels and boat excursions.
Every year thousands of farm folk, city slickers and small town hicks converge on the Dells for a two-week summer vacation. Amidst all of this pure Americana and flag waving are hundreds of voices speaking Russian, French and Italian.
It seems the Dells hire college-age kids from all over the world to man the counters during the summer season. Most of the kids live in dorms in the woods surrounding the Dells. The kids I chatted with were not impressed with their first visit to America. I mean, if the Dells were all you had to judge America on, I wouldn’t be too enthused either.
But wouldn’t it make a great teenage “coming of age” story for Lifetime television. You know, foreign teenagers working in this midwestern madness along with the vacationers – kinda like a white trash “Dirty Dancing” with a foreign twist.