Top Notch Training in the Fox Cities

FVTC PSTC4

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.

FVTC PSTC6  FVTC PSTC8

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.

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.

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!

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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

Beat the Summer Heat in the Fox Cities!

Sunset Beach, Kimberly

Written By: Jeni Strom, Marketing and Visitor Services Coordinator

Long summer days are upon us and with temperatures reaching into the upper 80’s, it’s perfect weather to get out and take advantage of the great pools and beaches in our area! Now, I know on some of those hot, muggy days we feel like staying inside the comfort of our air conditioning, but then I remember the -30 winter cold and mountains of snow, and think, near 90 degrees sounds pretty darn good!

For me, being a Door County native, the beach is a summer staple and sand is a must, so I prefer our beach options with my toes in the sand, but a relaxing day sitting pool-side sounds pretty good too. Which ever you prefer, the Fox Cities has plenty of options to offer with fun for the whole family! I’ve put together a short list of some of our area spots and their amenities. A perfect way to get out and play and beat that summer heat!

Plamann Lake Plamann Park, Grand Chute
Plamann Park, isn’t just a great swimming spot, as a county park they also offer 257 acres of scenic hills and trails, a children’s farm, and disc golf course. Concessions available.
The beach is open June 6 – August 16, Daily 1pm-7pm
Admission
0-3 Years: Free
4-15 Years: $2.50
16-64 Years: $3.00
65+: Free

Sunset Beach – Sunset Park, Kimberly
June 6 – August 16, Daily 12pm – 7pm
Admission
Infant (Age 0 – 2) – FREE
Child (Age 3 – 5) – $ 2.00
Youth (Age 6 – 17 ) – $ 3.00
Adult (Age 18 – 61 ) – $ 3.50
Senior Citizen (Age 62 & Older) – FREE

Amenities: Sand beach with shallow water area, shallow water slides, a diving well featuring a drop slide, low and high diving boards, and a sand volleyball court. Family Changing Rooms, Sand rinse off area, Lounge and deck chairs, Concession Facility, Carry-ins are permitted, but no alcoholic beverages are allowed.
Inflatable objects and swimming aids are not permitted.

Doyle Park Pool – Little Chute
June 2 – August 16, Mon-Friday 12pm-8pm, Saturday & Sunday 1pm – 5:30pm
*12pm – 1pm is adult swim only
Admission
Youth 3 & under Free Free
Child 4 to 17 $2.00
Adult 18 to 59 $3.00
Senior 60 & up $2.00

Amenities: Concession stand, shaded area with tables, lounge and deck chairs, and coin operated lockers in the changing rooms. The facility is staffed by Red Cross certified lifeguards.

Mead Pool – Mead Park, AppletonIMG_0155
June 5 – August 16
Monday – Friday and Sundays 12pm – 8pm
Saturdays 12pm – 6pm

Amenities: Heated pool, Zero depth wading and swimming area, lap lanes always available, In pool water play attractions, Sand volleyball court, Lockers (locks available for rent), 20′ high waterslide (159′ of flume!), Lounge chairs and shade arbors, one 3 meter and one 1 meter diving board, Concessions sold inside and outside of the pool area (hot dogs, hamburgers, candy, ice cream, popcorn, pop, coffee), Off-street parking, bike racks (please bring your own bike lock), Privacy changing cubicles
Large privacy showers, handicap accessible, certified staff.

Erb Pool – Erb Park, AppletonBoy down Mead Slide
June 5 – August 16, Click here to view their open swim calendar

Amenities: Heated pools, One 3-meter, one 1-meter and one 1/2-meter diving boards, Two water basketball hoops, drop slide, Lounge chairs and shade furniture available on deck, separate patio area with basketball hoop, Lap lanes always available, vending machines in lobby (ice cream, snacks, beverages), off-street parking, bike racks (please bring your own bike lock), privacy changing cubicles, lockers (locks available for rent at front desk for $.50), pool lift available, certified staff.

Neenah Swimming Pool – Recreation Park, Neenah
June 5 – August 26, 1pm-6pm daily (Season passes available)
Admission
Adults (18+) $4, Youth (3-17) & Seniors (55+) $3, 2 and Under FREE

Amenities
Heated Water, Zero depth wading & swimming area, Lap Lanes Available, Tot sand play area, Sand Volleyball Court, Waterslides, Lounge chairs, tables and umbrellas, Water play feature in zero depth area, Handicapped accessible showers & restrooms, Concessions sold inside & outside of pool, Outside Restroom and Family Changing Room, Lockers rooms, Grassy Areas, Outdoor Ping Pong Table and Tetherball

Jefferson Park Pool – Menasha
June 9 – August 19, Afternoons 1pm-5pm, Evenings 6:15pm-7:45pm
Admission:
Ages 2 & Under Free
Ages 3-17 $2.50
Ages 18-54 $3.50 
Ages 55+ $2.50
Lap Swim $3.50
*Reduced rates for evening sessions

A Pint of the Fox Cities

Appleton Beer Factory2

Written by:  Adam Schanke, Sports Marketing Manager

When I travel, I like to seek out local breweries and brewpubs to enjoy a pint or two of craft beer that may not be on tap or distributed in the Fox Cities. Craft beer is becoming increasingly popular and microbreweries are popping up across the country. I recently took some time to explore some of our very own microbreweries and brewpubs right here in the Fox Cities!

Stone Arch Brewhouse brews seven beers year-round with another dozen changing with the seasons. They also make their own soda for the kids! Their beer can be found on tap at many area restaurants and in bottles across northeast Wisconsin. However, I prefer to go right to the source at Stone Cellar Brewpub, the oldest continually running brewpub in Wisconsin.

Fox River Brewing Company serves up beer on tap at their restaurant located inside Fox River Mall. Producing 26 different beers over the course of a year, Fox River Brewing Company offers an escape from shopping or a relaxing evening out. Their beer can also be found on tap at area restaurants and in bottles at eastern Wisconsin stores.

Appleton Beer Factory opened its doors on Appleton’s College Avenue in 2013 and is currently the newest brewery/brew pub in the Fox Cities. The atmosphere is unique with the brewing system visible from the dining area. Sample several of their delicious creations by ordering a beer flight. Beers are available on tap at area restaurants and in growlers to take home.

Old Bavarian Brewing Company boasts authentic brewed beer in accordance with the German Purity Law, which dates back to 1516 and allows for only water, barley, and hops to be used in the brewing process. Their German beer is brewed at Fox River Brewing Company under the supervision of Old Bavarian’s Master Brewer and served on tap at OB’s Brau Haus downtown Appleton.

Opening in Fall 2015 in downtown Neenah is Lion’s Tail Brewing Co., complete with its own tap room. Follow along with construction on their Twitter page.

Fox Cities Historic Locks Tour

Appleton Lock2

Written By: Amy Karas, Convention Sales Representative

I had the pleasure of joining a Fox Cities press tour group of travel writers to check out the newest attraction in the Fox Cities, a historic locks tour. This tour is put on by the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway group. President Candice Mortara arranged for 2 pontoon boats with drivers and a historian to pick our group up at the public dock just before Appleton lock #2, a short walk from Pullman’s restaurant. The tour took us through Appleton locks #2, #3, #4, Cedars, and ending at the Little Chute Guard Lock. Little Chute Lock House

Once there, we had the opportunity to tour the Little Chute lock tender house which is currently being restored to reflect its 1910-era heritage. The lock tender house will eventually be available as a rental property for nightly guests.

The day offered perfect weather for boating, a sunny Saturday with a light breeze; and we were able to see wildlife including turtles, pelicans, ducks, orioles and an eagle. The historians on board offered information about the history of the locks which were built in the 1850’s in order to navigate around the dams. The locks are still hand-operated by a lock tender, and we were able to see how they operate.  We also learned about some of the landmarks along the way including the old railroad swing bridge located near Appleton lock #3, and the Vulcan Street hydroelectric plant, which is now Atlas Coffee Mill adjacent to the Paper Discovery Center.

Appleton Lock 3Appleton Lock 4

The long term vision of this group is to obtain a paddle boat to take larger groups through the locks and to provide live music, cocktails and possibly light hors d oeuvres. If you’d like to navigate the locks on your own, you can see them by boat, canoe or kayak. Boaters will have to pay a day pass depending on the size of the boat ($6 for under 26 feet or $12 for over). There are spots to pull kayaks and canoes out of the water to avoid the lock user fee. The Appleton and Cedars locks are open May 22 – September 7, 2015 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 11am – 11pm . For more information on the Fox River lock locations, schedule and fees, please visit www.foxriverlocks.org.

Parties interested in a historic lock tour should contact the Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway at (920) 707-2965 or info@heritageparkway.org. For more information about this nonprofit organization, their initiatives and events, please visit www.heritageparkway.org.