Mile of Music Has Impacted Downtown Appleton

Returning for the third year in 2015 from August 6-9, Mile of Music has impacted its home of Downtown Appleton, Wisconsin, well beyond the four days artists converge on the community.

The handcrafted festival has branched out to include “Extra Mile” performances with favorite performers returning for shows in Appleton throughout the year, and has also added an annual New Year’s Encore Eve performance hosted Downtown. In addition to the summer festival and its hundreds of live music events, the Mile of Music Radio app was also developed for year-round listening.

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As Dave Willems, Mile of Music co-founder and marketing executive, explained, the initial idea for bringing music to Appleton just keeps evolving as can the concept of introducing an artisan event to virtually any vibrant downtown or central business district.

“Not every downtown in the U.S. may be laid out perfectly to host a festival similar to Mile of Music, but the beauty of an event like this is that it can be custom-designed and sized to match a community’s strengths as well as its needs,” Willems said.

Willems shared that Mile of Music continues to have a significant economic impact on Appleton now that its foundation is in place.

An estimated $2 million was pumped back into the community in 2014 alone, with nearly 40,000 attendees from near and far coming to Appleton for the festival.

Mile of Music recently hosted its annual Media Announcement and shared that Mile 3 will include a mix of approximately 175 new and returning artists this summer and welcome The Milk Carton Kids to the stage. With planning for 2015 well underway, the focus this summer will be on making the festival better, not bigger.

“After Mile of Music’s first year, we doubled the number of artists and tripled the number of performances,” Willems said. “Our next goal isn’t focused on numbers. It’s to continue making this an engaging experience for the artists and attendees. Ultimately, we’re looking to foster connections and promote our creative economy.”

Cory Chisel, Nashville-based Mile of Music co-founder and musical curator, explained, “Right from the start, there was this rapport between the fans and the artists. It was something I thought would take some time to develop, but it was almost instant that first year.”

This emphasis on making connections went into the planning behind this year’s Music Maker Subscription Package – a new feature for 2015. Along with designating pass-holders as festival supporters, the package includes exclusive access to more intimate gatherings like artist pop-up performances and meet-and-greet sessions.

An event designed for the community, Mile of Music will also continue to support two local funds through festival profits – the Mile of Music Education Fund and the Creative Downtown Fund.

The Mile of Music is an artisan, original music festival that kicked off in August 2013. In its first two years combined, the festival has brought 250 bands and solo artists to Downtown Appleton to perform more than 800 live music sets. It is a collaborative event that was co-founded by Appleton marketing executive Dave Willems and Nashville-based national recording artist Cory Chisel, with support from nearly 100 community organizations and sponsors as well as more than 200 volunteers. For more information, visit

12th Annual Downtown Appleton Golf Outing


Come join in the fun on the links while networking with your Downtown & ANBA* neighbors at the 12th annual Downtown Appleton Golf Outing Friday, May 29, 2015 at Reid Municipal Golf Course. 

Because we play a scramble, it’s a great day for golfers of all skill levels–so don’t be shy!   And don’t forget there will be “tastes” on the course courtesy of Downtown & Northside Appleton Restaurants!

Registration begins at 10 am with a shotgun start at 11 am.  $99 includes 18 holes of golf* with a cart, Taste of Downtown lunch on the course, great prizes and a silent auction!  Register by calling the ADI office at 954-9112.

Giving Hope and Sidewalk Celebration

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 1.09.40 PMWhat better place than Downtown Appleton to show that you care?
Support Downtown Appleton May 1-9, 2015 as the Downtown Appleton businesses support Cancer Patient Support and Research through the American Cancer Society and the Sole Burner 5K.

What better place than Downtown Appleton to buy that special Mother’s Day gift, go out for a great dinner or lunch or maybe make it a full night on the town?  Give-while you Shop, Dine, Play!

Look for businesses with cancer ribbons and signs to let you know that they support this fantastic event. These businesses have agreed to either give a percent of their net proceeds from that week or an outright donation to the American Cancer Society in honor of their Moms and all the Moms in the Fox Cities.  While you are Downtown, register to win a $100 gift certificate!

And this year, we’ve added a Sidewalk Celebration on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 10am-2pm.  Retailers and will be out on the sidewalk with some great items!

If you would like to walk, sign up at
Click here for a route map.

Enjoy great specials and make a difference with these businesses May 1-9 (unless otherwise noted):

Anderson Pen, 10 College Ave: Donating $10 per Sheaffer 100 Pink Pencil sold!
Angels Forever-Windows of Light, 310 W. College Ave: Donating 5% of sales, free pink ribbons, plus special prize & gift certificate drawings!
Appleton Beer Factory, 603 W. College Ave.: Donating $1 from sale of specialty drink.  Plus selling ribbons to display!
Appleton Bike Shop, 121 S. State St: Donating 10% of Ladies Road bikes & Ladies cycling apparel + Donating $1 for each Circle of Hope!
Avenue Jewelers, 303 E. College Ave.: Donating funds from watch battery replacements!
Bad Badger Sports Bar, 215 W. College Ave.: Hosting “Pause for the Cause” on Tuesday, May 5th & donating 60% of all sales from 4pm to close.
Bellybeans, 103 E. College Ave.: Donating 1% of total sales!
Blue Moon Emporium, 227 E. College Ave.: Donating 10% of sales on Saturday, May 9!
Building For Kids Childrens Museum,100 W. College Ave.: Donating 10% of the proceeds from the gift shop!
Crazy Sweet, 201 W. College Ave.: Donating $1 for each pink sweetheart chocolate rose!
CU Saloon, 409 W. College Ave.: Donating for specialty drinks, selling pink paper bras for $1 donation, bra toss for $5 donation  & more!
Dance!, 225 E. College Ave. : Donating 10% of total sales! And save 20% off all pink bodywear (excludes shoes)!
DePawsitory Pet Boutique, 129 E. College Ave.: Donating $1 for each Pink Ribbon treat sold!
Durty Leprechaun, 343 W. College Ave.: Donating 100% of pink drink sales!
Farm Market Vendors, 10 College Ave.: Collecting donations!
Fox Valley Symphony, 111 W. College Ave. Suite 550: Collecting donations at the May 2 Grand Finale Concert at the Fox Cities P.A.C. at 7:30pm!
Gabriel Furniture, 201 E. College Ave.: Donating $20 for each delivery charge!
Globally Sound Fair Trade, 604 W. College Ave: 5/2: Silent Auction & chance to win $50 gift certificate.  Decorate Globe of Hope – donation appreciated. 5/5-9: 20% off Giving Tree items plus donating 20% of Giving Tree sales!
Heid Music, 308 E. College Ave.: Raffling headphones: Yamaha HPE-170 closed-back headphone, ideal for keyboarders & studio musicians.
hey, daisy!, 121 E. College Ave.: Donating % of sales of Seeing Stars “Hope” products!
Inspire Spa, 103 W. College Ave.: Donating 10% of total sales!
Items of Interest, 10 College Ave.: Donating a % of sales!
Joseph’s Shoes, 10 College Ave.: Donating a % of sales!
Just Act Natural, 129 E. College Ave: Donating 20% of sales of pink, purple or red items!  (Does not include food sales)
Lillians Shoppe, 115 E. College Ave.: Donating a % of sales!
Massage Connection, 232 E. College Ave.: Displaying your circle of hope and collecting donations!
Muncheez Pizzeria, 600 W. College Ave.: Save $1 on Cinni-Muncheez plus donating $1 for all Cinni-Muncheez sold!
Murray Photo, 10 College Ave: Donating % of Promaster Items sold!
Paper Discovery Center, 425 W. Water St.: Donating 100% of proceeds from hand-made paper flowers & cards plus 10% of proceeds from papermaking kits!
Principal Financial, 100 W. Lawrence st. #502: Donating all proceeds from May Denim Days!
The Rug Company, 127 E. College Ave.: Donating 10% of in-stock padding sales!
Shear Chaos Salon & Barbering Co.,103 W. College Ave.: Donating 10% of all retail sales!
Spats Food & Spirits, 733 W. College Ave.: Donating $2 for each pink martini sold!
Studio 213, 213 E. College Ave: Donating a % of Sales!
Tennie’s Jewelry, 208 E. College  Ave.: Donating 10% of sales from in stock pink Gemstone or Rose Gold Merchandise
Vagabond Imports, 113 E. College Ave.: Donating 1% of total sales!
The Vintage Garden, 119 E. College Ave.: Matching all in-store donations*, plus $1 off all “Hope” scented candles!

Crazy Sweet Thinks Downtown Appleton is One Great Place

LogoI grew up in the Fox Valley and have very fond memories of downtown Appleton, going shopping at Prange’s or watching movies at the Viking Theater. After graduation I moved away and for the next 25 years only came back for short visits. Four years ago I moved back for good and a year ago opened Crazy Sweet, a candy store on College Avenue with my wife – and we couldn’t be happier.

What we love about being downtown is the sense of community. The store owners treated us like family, welcoming us to the Avenue and wishing us success. They shop in our store and in turn, we love shopping at theirs. There is a sense of being one on the Avenue, a sense of belonging. We could have opened our candy store anywhere in the Fox Valley, but there is no where I wanted to be other than downtown Appleton.

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There so many people who come to downtown Appleton, whether it’s for the food, the unique shopping opportunities, or the myriad of amazing events that take place. The atmosphere is un-like anything I’ve seen in cities far larger. These are the things that for Mary and I make Downtown Appleton Once Great Place!

Dale and Mary
Crazy Sweet
201 W. College Ave

Downtown Appleton Welcomes Young Professionals Week

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.00.13 PMThe spotlight will be on the next generation of local leaders as Appleton celebrates Young Professionals Week beginning April 11-18. Local community leaders will engage young professionals and emerging leaders in a week of learning, growth and fun.

Pulse Young Professionals Network hosts “YPWeek” – a week-long series of events that will provide participants with a variety of opportunities to connect with one another, share their vision for the future of our community and learn new skills in multiple locations throughout the Fox Cities.

The events will serve as a catalyst for the attraction and retention of young talent needed to sustain growth & innovation among local employers.

The City of Appleton is proud to sponsor “YPWeek” and to have Mayor Hanna take part in a civic panel with other local leaders on Wednesday April 15.

Links to the events & registration can be found below:

Pulse Young Professionals Network is a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Fox Cities Regional Partnership. YP Week is also supported by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Outagamie County Airport & Appleton Downtown Inc.

Radisson Paper Valley Hotel is One Great Place

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Radisson Paper Valley Hotel has been a downtown anchor since 1982. With its many restaurants, lounges and conference rooms we serve timeless memories to guests from near and far.  Feel the connection again while dining in Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse or having a company business meeting in one of our boardrooms. Awarded Best Service Award from WI Meetings we use our Yes I Can philosophy as a mission to provide a memorable experience for permanent and temporary members of our community. Radisson Paper Valley’s purpose is to create an environment that brings the feeling of “home away from home” to all of our guests.

King Room


2015 Renovation Award Presented to The Fox Cities Building for The Arts

The 2015 Downtown Renovation Award is Presented to a business that has invested in the physical appearance of the building they call home in our downtown neighborhood.

In 2013 we celebrated the renovation of Houdini Plaza and who knew it could get even better… and then it did!! One beautiful night the Fox Cities Building for the Arts flipped a switch and a colorful light display transformed the landscape of not only the Plaza but of Downtown!

This project is a perfect example of Creative Placemaking! As a public art installation the lights create an urban ambiance that draws you in. Your eye can’t help but watch! They create a sense of place and help people connect with downtown …just another example of how the arts strengthen local economies. Public Art and performances drive foot traffic that supports local business, creating jobs, sparking innovation and creativity and in Wisconsin generating $535 Million in economic activity annually – generating $64.9 Million in state and local government revenue.


For impacting the downtown economy and landscape and for truly enlightening us, we are honored to thank  John Bergstrom for his vision and support in bringing this amazing art installation to downtown and the Fox Cities community.

We present The Fox Cities Building For The Arts with the 2015 Downtown Renovation Award.