Bloomington sisters featured on billboard in Bridgeport

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Ava (left) and Ashlyn DeShaw are pictured with aunt Emily Edge on this billboard, near the Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport. The billboard was provided through a Travel Wisconsin grant to Shakespeare on the Edge, in promotion of its renaissance faire in New Glarus, A Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Two young girls from Bloomington have been featured on a very prominent billboard in Bridgeport late this summer and fall. Ava and Ashlyn DeShaw, 9-year-old daughters of Adam and Jackie DeShaw, are fourth graders at River Ridge School.

The sisters are pictured on the billboard—Ava as a pirate and Ashlyn as a witch—enjoying some tea and smiling during at A Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians, a renaissance faire in New Glarus. The billboard is located near Captain’s Cove, along Highway 18.

Their aunt, Jennifer (Edge) Bethel, happens to be the founder and executive director of Shakespeare on the Edge, an incorporation based in Monroe that works to bring youth together through the works of William Shakespeare to explore the healing power of art and the transformative qualities of performance (

The photo of the girls was taken at a previous festival, which boasted over 100 performers, 65 vendors, five stages and 2,000 attendees in 2017.

“We volunteer every year,” said their mom, Jackie. “The girls enjoy dressing the part.”

The billboard was an advertisement through Travel Wisconsin for the 10th annual renaissance faire Oct. 14-15, 2017. The grant allowed for billboards promoting the event in three locations: Bridgeport, Dodgeville and Michigan. Pictured having fun with the girls in the photo is their other aunt, Emily Edge.

Having an “in” with the founder of the event made this featured billboard a reality for Ava and Ashlyn.

“The girls were pretty excited about it,” Jackie said. “It’s kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity to be on a billboard.”

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