Rising river doesn’t damper Newville tradition

The rising Rock River didn’t keep hundreds of party goers from a Newville tradition, the annual “Break in the Weather” celebration.

Stripping down and braving the chilly temperatures – this year chillier than most – is a popular tradition at the annual party.

Dan from Janesville is just one attendee making a splash in Newville at the Anchor Inn’s annual belly flop contest.

He said he doesn’t belly flop naturally: His friend Tammy had to talk him into it.

The owner of the Anchor Inn said the high water won’t put a damper on their 34th annual celebration.

“We looked at all the gauges up river and everything is leveled off, so we feel pretty confident right now we’re going to be safe,” said John Kinnett. “Part of our parking lot is flooded but right now we’re good. It’s just Mother Nature.”


Except for Rock County sheriff’s deputies, the elevated Rock River is keeping boats out of the water.

Kinnett said they’re expecting 2,000 people to come and enjoy the drinking and live music at the celebration.

“On a day like this, with the sun out, since it hasn’t been very nice, I think there will be a lot of people out having a lot of fun today,” said Kinnett.

This year’s event is the first for the Schmittingers. They were excited they were able to ride their Harleys up from Janesville.

“It’s either been snowing or raining or cloudy so at least the sun is out today,” said Brenda Schmittinger.

“If you’re born and raised in Wisconsin, you deal with it,” said Tom Schmittinger.

At the event, Dan’s flop sadly fell short of the top prize, a title that went to Leif from Edgerton.

His friend Tammy, though, won over the judges with her flop.

With the flopping finished, they’ll go back to why they came to Newville in the first place.

“Seeing all the bikes, seeing everyone, it’s always a really cool event, dancing, and you know,” said Tammy Batson.

The celebration ran until midnight Saturday night.

John Kinnett said this year they added a shuttle service to and from Edgerton and Janesville to make sure their patrons get home safely.

The Rock County Sherrif’s office said they planned to increase patrols in the area.