Tag: Appleton

Burgers and Beers with a View!

Mr. Brews - outside

Written by: Karen Treml, Visitor Services Coordinator

Nestled along the Fox River just below the College Avenue Bridge Mr. Brew’s Taphouse in Appleton sits between the Banta Bowl and Telulah Park. With floor to ceiling windows on three sides, it offers spectacular views for watching the river, eagles and wildlife.

Mr. Brews - beer listThey offer 48 craft beers on tap, as well as a variety of wines to accompany their gourmet burgers and fresh cut fries/chips.  They also offer chicken, turkey and vegetarian burger options, salads and a kids menu.  During the summer months you can arrive by boat and anchor at one of their 6 docks for no charge.

Mr. Brews - inside first floorMy family and I visited Mr. Brews Taphouse last month and were very pleased with the food, service, and of course, the great view.  The restaurant’s entrance brings you directly to their second floor loft-style dining area, you can head down to the first floor dining that offers tables and bar seating, or grab a seat on their patio!  We were greeted by their friendly staff and directed to sit wherever we’d like. Their menu is almost all Mr Brews - outside patioburgers but boy do they have options! We all ordered something different; Mushroom & Swiss, Bacon Mac n Cheese Burger, Original Pulled Pork Sandwich and Brews Chicken Sandwich…and you can’t say no to the fresh cut fries with parmesan garlic seasoning! Everything was delicious; my son couldn’t say enough about the Bacon Mac n Cheese and raved about the Dogfish Head 120 IPA, he insisted I try it so I know what I’ll be getting next time we go back! He has since returned a couple times and we’ll be sure to visit again soon as well, because just as their message states; “One visit won’t be enough!”

Appleton Octoberfest: A Mile of Fun!

Octoberfest_Appleton Sidewalk

Written by: Adam Schanke, Sports Marketing Manager

Since 1981, one of the most popular annual events in the Fox Cities is Appleton’s Octoberfest. Octoberfest takes place on a blocked-off mile-long stretch of College Avenue in downtown Appleton on Friday, September 25th and Saturday, September 26th.

License to Cruise 2014The fun kicks off on Friday with License to Cruise, featuring over 400+ classic cars, live music, and food from local restaurants. Every year 50,000+ people walk College Avenue to check out their dream cars. This year’s feature vehicle is a Volkswagen, which can be found in front of City Center plaza. Live music starts at 6:00pm with The Doo-Wop Daddies in Houdini Plaza. Several other musicians will be roaming the Ave and performing on street corners.

IMG_7429_100925On Saturday, the party continues with an estimated expected attendance of 100,000 people. Five stages of music, endless food options, and beer highlight the event. Each music stage is devoted to a specific genre of music. Headliners this year include Vic Ferrari, Cool Waters Band, The Doo-Wop Daddies, and more. With approximately 100 nonprofit food vendors, there will be a large variety of delicious choices. Bring your appetite! The beer stands will offer Budweiser products, in addition to several craft beers.

Also an Octoberfest tradition is an arts and crafts area located on the east end of College Avenue by Lawrence University. Over 150 vendors will offer various items from jewelry, clothing, and pottery, to home décor.

The festival is also family-friendly, with an entire area designated for family fun. This area features magicians, karate demonstrations, carnival games, and more.

Octoberfest still has a few open slots for volunteers. Available volunteer roles include being a block captain and bartending. By volunteering, you will be helping Octoberfest assist hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the Fox Cities.

Although it may not be available at Octoberfest, Stone Arch/Stone Cellar brews a seasonal Stonetoberfest beer, which can be found on tap and in stores this fall. Additionally, Fox River Brewing Company recently released their Foxtoberfest and Appleton Beer Factory tapped their Oktoberfest earlier this week.

Be sure to check out the Octoberfest website, Facebook, and Twitter for details and updates.

It’s Apple Season!!


September is here and autumn is upon us, with that comes all of those great fall activities; one of my favorites, apple picking! There’s nothing like picking your own fresh apples right from the tree to enjoy and the Fox Cities has some great places for picking!

Apple picking is easy and fun for the whole family! Over the years, my family and I have visited Sprangers and Star Orchards, both of which are located in the Fox Cities. The farmers will tell you what varieties are ripe and ready, and where to look for them in the orchard.  As I go through the orchard, I sometimes like to sample before picking.  This is a common practice for many apple pickers, and is encouraged. When selecting the right apples you’ll want to make sure they’re firm and bruise-free, just roll the apple and give it a little twist! Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so ones around the outside of the tree will ripen first. Once picked, place the apples gently into your basket to be sure not to bruise them because they will go bad more quickly. To increase their shelf life, it’s best to store apples in a cool, dry place.

apple picking-abby      apple picking-abby2

Orchards charge by the pound for your apples, It’s always fun to try and guess how much you have picked as you watch the numbers on the scale go up.  A bushel weighs between 42 and 48 pounds. If picking your own isn’t your thing, both orchards we visited have a small store where you can purchase pre-picked apples, as well as locally made edibles.

A few of our local orchards are listed below. Be sure to get out this fall and take advantage of our great orchards! Picking season varies depending on weather and location but typically runs from September through October.

Bauer’s Apple Shed – W7763 Wisconsin Avenue, Hortonville
Hofacker’s Hillside Orchard – W3964 Wedge Road, Appleton
Sprangers Orchard – W2100 County Road KK, Kaukauna
Star Orchard – 253 County Road CE, Kaukauna

Fresh picked apples are great to eat all on their own but I love to use mine for baking. Apple cobbler is my families favorite go-to apple treat. My recipe is below!

Apple Cobbler
7-8 (9 cups) large tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch
½ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
serve with vanilla ice cream (optional) – but why wouldn’t you?!

Top Notch Training in the Fox Cities


Written by: Amy Karas, Convention Sales and Marketing Manager

Last week our Services Coordinator, Jennifer Hecht, and myself received a special opportunity to observe the Writers’ Police Academy at the Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center. This event was founded seven years ago by former police chief Lee Lofland, whom sought out the help of our staff to secure hotel rooms, transportation and area information he needed, to make the Academy a successful event. Previously held in Jamestown, North Carolina, this was the Academy’s first year at the new state-of-the-art Fox Valley facility.

FVTC PSTC3 (1)Lee and his wife, Denene, welcomed us to observe their participants’ training activities including a driving simulator, firing range and crime lab. The object of the Academy is to provide hands-on experience to about 280 authors of crime fiction from across the nation so that they accurately portray all manner of law enforcement information in their novels. Along with these activities, the four-day training included a police ride along, jail tour and crime author guest speakers. This year’s guest of honor was New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Karin Slaughter, known for her Will Trent and Grant County series. Speakers’ books were available for purchase and signing onsite at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel during the event.


The new Public Safety Training Center opened in January and is completely unique to the Midwest. It provides students with a combination of classroom and hands-on training in firefighting, investigation, technical rescue and many more capacities. Facility rental opportunities include indoor classrooms and training areas, emergency vehicle driving range, outdoor firing range, fire training and the River City scenario village.

For more information on the Writers’ Police Academy, please visit www.writerspoliceacademy.com. To sign up for training or inquire about using Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center for an event, visit www.fvtc.edu or contact Public Safety Training Center Director, Jeremy Hansen, at (920) 225-5954 or hansenj@fvtc.edu.

Something Old, Something New, and Everything in Between!

YeOldGoat1Written By: Kim Tisler, Operations Manager

YeOldGoat2Given my love of antiques and repurposing old, reclaimed items into something new, I couldn’t wait for an opportunity to check out a new space in Appleton called Ye Old Goat.  I had heard wonderful things about it and my stop there did not disappoint.

Ye Old Goat bills itself as a vintage
market offering new, old, and repurposed items from 80 different retailers, all under one roof!  It reYeOldGoat4minds me of your typical antique mall, in that the vendors have individual booths set up in long rows throughout the space. The interior is bright and welcoming with something unique and different at every turn.  From old washtubs and farm implements, to homemade soaps, candles, apparel, handmade furniture, silks, and glassware, there’s plenty to look at. Be sure to allow plenty of time to browse and enjoy all there is to offer!

YeOldGoat3The store will be participating in a new and upcoming ladies day event in the Fox Cities. Junket of Joy – Fall will take place September 12, 2015.  A $20 ticket will reserve your seat on the Junket of Joy Motorcoach, which will take you to other area specialty stores for a day of fall shopping.  Your ride will take you to Vintique, Milo Milo, The Vintage Garden, Blue Moon Emporium and Ye Old Goat.  Lunch is included in the ticket price. Tickets are available at Ye Old Goat, The Vintage Garden and Vintique. Call any of the participating stores for more information.

Ye Old Goat is located at 1919 East Calumet Street in Appleton. Check their website for more!

Summer fun in the Fox Cities!

Written by: Karen Treml, Visitor Services Coordinator 

With summer in full swing, the Fox Cities is bursting with events and things to do and see. It’s easy when you live here year-round, with the hustle and bustle of your everyday schedules, to overlook and miss, not only events, but also the great areas we have to explore. We decide to take some weekend time checking out a few events and exploring a little more of our area.

Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass Annual Art Festival
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass Annual Art Festival

We started our morning in Kimberly at the Old Glory Café for breakfast. The restaurant is decorated to honor our Military and service members, the wait-staff was friendly and helpful, and the food was excellent! We then drove to Neenah for the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass 41st Annual Arts Festival in Riverside Park – A great event to walk around and view the work of hundreds of artists.

We also took this opportunity to take a walk through part of Neenah’s historical district. It showcases many of the historical mansions that were once the homes of some very prominent and influential people of our local paper industry in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Part of the tour takes you past the Kimberly Point Lighthouse at Kimberly Point Park, where the Fox River and Lake Winnebago meet; a great spot to take in the views of both the river and the lake.

Paper Baron Mansion
Havilah Babcock House, Neenah Historical Tour
Kimberly Point Lighthouse
Photo credit: Appleton Old Car Show
Photo credit: Appleton Old Car Show

The next stop was the Old Car Show & Swap Meet at Pierce Park in Appleton. This event was free and featured antique collector cars & trucks; almost 1,000 vehicles to view! The also had live music and food to enjoy while walking around the park. This was a fun relaxing day and a great way to enjoy the summer weather and take in a lot of what our area has to offer!

Summer seems to be flying by, so make sure you get out to some of these great events and take some time to explore the area! From farm markets, live music, art shows and sporting events; the Fox Cities has something for everyone! Check our website for a full listing of upcoming events and things to see!

Run For Chocolate!


Written by: Katie Kemps, Sports Marketing Intern

Hello Fox Cities! Do you love chocolate? Love it enough to run for it? It’s almost time for Appleton’s Chocoholic Frolic 5K/10K Race August 2, 2015 at the Fox Cities Stadium – Neuroscience Group Field in Appleton.

If you love chocolate, then this is a perfect event to get your friends and families involved with and have a good time! Run, jog, or walk your way through the course and enjoy two chocolate stops along the way from Vande Walle’s Candies, then get a sweet reward at the finish line with a double chocolate cupcake from Rebecca’s Sweets Boutique.

Each participant will receive a long sleeve hoodie, a race tote bag, and a Chocoholic Frolic Finisher Bar. Don’t forget about all the chocolate you will get to enjoy along the course itself! Charity partner is Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Click here to register or find out more information. Online registration closes on July 28, 2015 at 11:59pm. This event is limited to 4,000 participants, so hurry and sign up today!

Chocoholic Frolic Picture

“I don’t understand why so many “so called” chocolate lovers complain about the calories in chocolate, when all true chocoholics know that it is a vegetable. It comes from the cocoa bean, beans are veggies, ’nuff said.”  

– Anonymous