THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT KIDS and water on a hot summer day that brings joy and, for me, a longing for the carefree days of youth. Perhaps that is why I am so drawn to a piece of art centering City Park in Appleton, Wisconsin. “Ring Dance,” created by internationally-acclaimed sculptor Dallas Anderson, a […]
Written by: Adam Schanke, Sports Marketing Manager
The site of a famous magician’s childhood home, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, the world’s first hydroelectric power plant, and a 4-time NFL Super Bowl champion are just a few of the people and places walkers can learn about on the new self-guided 16-stop, 2.2-mile Fox Trot Trail showcasing the history of downtown Appleton
and the Fox River. The Fox Trot Trail opened just in time for Mile of Music as 60,000+ attendees filled downtown Appleton August 4-7. Perhaps you have seen the blue fox footprints on the sidewalks and signs throughout downtown?
The trail starts in Houdini Plaza, heads towards Lawrence University, goes through the former industrial flats, and concludes in Jones Park. The History Museum at the Castle, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Between the Locks Building, Trolley Square, Fox River Mills, and Rocky Bleier Run are just some of the points of interest you will read about. Several of the stops along the trail are related to each other in history.
There is a scenic shortcut along the Fox River if you do not feel up to walking the entire 2.2 miles, although you will miss out on 5 of the 16 points of interest along the trail. Pick up a trail brochure at our Visitor Center or view the online map on the Appleton Parks & Recreation website. Happy walking!
Tucked nicely behind the Best Western Premier Bridgewood Hotel and Resort in Neenah you will find two small tennis courts raised about four feet off the ground. The casual observer may wonder why the courts are so tiny, why they are raised up off the ground, and why they are surrounded by wire fence about 20 feet high. The answer, is Platform Tennis. Popular in the Chicago area and on the East Coast, Platform Tennis has been played in the Fox Cities by a small group of loyalists since the 1980s. Two years ago the courts were constructed on the grounds of the Bridgewood in order to help grow the wintertime sport.
Yes, I said winter! The prime season for Platform Tennis is October through March, which covers Wisconsin’s windiest, coldest, and snowiest season. But that’s the point! Platform Tennis is a terrific sport to get you moving during the winter months, the raised floors have heaters to remove the snow and ice. The constant movement of the game allows you to play year round with minimal cold weather gear, and with the Bridgewood’s Ground Round Bar & Grill right next to the courts, you can head inside for grab drinks & food and warm up or cool down with fellow players comfortably after your match.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau staff recently gave Platform Tennis a try. None of us had ever played before, but we all had a great time! Players of any skill level and age can enjoy this sport. Leagues and memberships are available or if you just want to rent out a court for an hour with friends and give it a try, you can do that as well. For more information and details visit their website!
Written by: Amy Karas, Convention Sales & Marketing Manager
The fourth annual Mile of Music Festival kicked off Wednesday night with a reception on Lawrence University’s main hall lawn (sponsored by Tundraland), live music at Memorial Chapel and a First Songs Kickoff Concert at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Starting Thursday morning through Sunday evening there will be 800 live performances from 240 artists at 70 venues located within one walkable mile in Downtown Appleton.
The Mile of Music Bus and Downtown Trolley will also be running for free during the event. The festival features original artists from around the world showcasing different musical backgrounds including folk, indie rock, R&B and many more genres. There is no cover charge for any of the entertainment. Music Maker badges are available for purchase and gives a more exclusive experience.
*Photo credit: Mile of Music facebook page
Food and beverage will be available for purchase in the coffee shops, bars, parks and museums where artists are performing. Local Stone Arch Brew House crafted and distributed their specialty Mile of Music Americana Pale Ale for the event. It is currently being sold in Festival Foods and Woodman’s and will be on tap at Stone Cellar Brewpub, Spats, Fox River House and the Clubhouse inside of the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel during the festival.
Mile of Music is a grass-roots festival co-founded by Appleton Marketing Executive Dave Willems and Appleton/Nashville-based national recording artist and Grammy nominee Cory Chisel with support from nearly 100 community organizations and 200 volunteers. Profits support two funds, the Mile of Music Education Fund and the Appleton Education Fund, which award musical scholarships and other opportunities to local youth.
Want to see more original music from these artists? Every Wednesday night from 5:30 – 7pm through September 21st, different Mile of Music featured musicians are performing free concerts in the courtyard at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. The hotel also hosts the Mile of Music’s New Year’s Encore Eve event which includes concerts with options to add on dinner and sleeping rooms. For more information on Mile 4, including artists and schedule, visit their website.
My daughter and I recently spent our Saturday morning at the Appleton Outdoor Farm Market. Within Houdini Plaza and from Appleton to Drew Street, College Avenue is lined with over 100 local and Wisconsin vendors. From fresh assortments of produce and flowers, decorative gift items, local arts & crafts to the wonderful smells of baked goods, there’s something for everyone discover and enjoy! Many selling food items also offer gluten free options too!
The Trout Museum of Art (located next to Houdini Plaza) was hosting an art project for young and old to participate in and there was a balloon artist who was taking requests from children in the crowd.
It was definitely a hot day but that didn’t discourage a large crowd of attendance. You can always find cool tasty treats like specialty ice cream or freshly squeezed lemonade to help cool off, or break from the outdoors and head into one of the many shops or boutiques located downtown.
As we walked along College Ave, we noticed a few different live musicians playing, and came across a few stands selling exotic meats and traditional “festival” food. On occasion, we stopped to sample one or two specialty dips/sauces, but we had to make sure to get some of our classic favorites; a pork egg roll and strawberry, chocolate, and caramel crepes. We also found homemade dog treats and couldn’t pass up purchasing a little something for our favorite furry friend back at home.
Head on out to the Downtown Appleton Farm Market and see all there is to offer! You definitely won’t be disappointed!
The 56th Annual Art at the Park is almost here! The festival will be held on Sunday, July 31 from 9am-4pm. Each year Art at the Park draws thousands of visitors to this one-day event held in historic City Park in downtown Appleton. The festival will feature almost 200 participating artists from around the country. Live entertainment, local food vendors and children’s art activities make this a fun family friendly event!
Are you an artist and want your work in the show? Click here for details on how to apply. Accepted artists have the chance to win cash prizes!
They will also feature a Creative Kids Art Show during the event. Kids ages 5 and up can submit artwork and have their pieces on display! Click here for details.
Get out and enjoy this fun family Sunday at the Park!
Written by: Pam Seidl, Executive Director
The Trout Museum of Art’s “Wisconsin War Stories” exhibit features a collection of photographic portraits of Wisconsin War Veterans featured in “Wisconsin War Stories,” produced by Wisconsin Public Television. Photographer James Gill’s portraits capture the personality of each individual in a remarkably beautiful and moving way. Alongside each photo is the personal account of the man or woman who served. Their stories give insight into the reality of war from the battlefield to the everyday mundane life back at the base.
One image that I found most impactful was of the highly-educated nurse who served in Vietnam and gave a very matter-of-fact perspective on death.
The exhibit is on display through July 3rd and worth the effort to see it on this weekend when we celebrate our freedom and the sacrifices of those who fought for it.