Valley Transit to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Transit Center

Valley Transit is celebrating the Downtown Appleton Transit Center’s 25th Anniversary on Wednesday, August 5th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A brief ceremony with Mayor Hanna and Fox Cities Transit Commission Chairman, Chuck Rundquist, will be followed by refreshments, family activities and live music.

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To commemorate 25 years of transit service, a new mural, located inside the transit center, will be officially revealed – as will the two winning drawings submitted to Valley Transit’s kids’ coloring contest. The drawings, which were responses to the prompt “What Does the Valley Transit System Mean to You” will be featured on the side of a bus for one month.

The 25th Anniversary of the Transit Center marks an important milestone for Valley Transit and its service to the community. The Transit Center has given riders a safe and comfortable place to catch their bus, making public transportation more welcoming and convenient. It continues to be a place in which riders can feel a sense of community while waiting for their connecting bus.

Schedule of Events:

  • 10:30 AM         Welcome by Valley Transit General Manager, Deborah Wetter
  • 10:35 AM         Comments by Mayor Hanna & Transit Commission Chairman, Chuck Rundquist
  • 10:45 AM         Coloring contest winners bus ad revealed – Mayor Tim Hana
  • 10:50 AM         Mural revealed inside Transit Center and media question & answer session
  • 11:00 AM         Live music by Mile of Music artist
  • 1:00 PM           Event ends

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.07.39 AMValley Transit provides safe and reliable community transportation throughout the Fox Cities in northeast Wisconsin. Services provided include fixed-route bus service, Valley Transit II ADA paratransit, The Connector, Call-A-Ride and six additional specialized and rural transportation services to seniors and people with disabilities.

Burgers and Bud Sampling Event at the Radisson to Benefit Honor Flight

Paper Valley Bud + Burgers 2015

Budweiser + Burgers
Radisson Paper Valley Hotel
Tuesday, August 25  6pm-8pm 

  • Sample 12 unique burger creations
  • Bottomless Budweiser draft in a commemorative glass
  • Endless fries
  • Portion of the proceeds benefit Old Glory Honor Flight
  • Tickets $20 and available at Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, charge by phone at 920.733.8000

Appleton Bike Shop Provides New Ride for ADI Golf Outing Adventure Package Raffle

Bike Raffle Winner

Kevin Rust and his children are proudly displaying his new bike donated by Appleton Bicycle Shop as part of the ADI Golf Outing Adventure Package Raffle.

Kevin is happy with his new ride and ADI is thrilled to have such outstanding business partners Downtown!  Thanks to all who bought tickets.  Watch for next year’s raffle!

Legislature Declares Mile of Music Weekend in State August 6-9

Through the efforts of Wisconsin State Representative Amanda Stuck and Senator Roger Roth, it’s official. The state’s Legislature has declared August 6-9, 2015 as the Mile of Music Weekend in Wisconsin and declares all residents of the state as honorary Appletonians for the weekend.

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“I am glad to see that the full Assembly has joined me in recognizing the tremendous hard work and dedication of Appleton’s own Cory Chisel and Dave Willems from Willems Marketing & Events who are the co-founders and organizers of the Mile of Music,” Rep. Stuck says.

“It is my hope that this recognition and honor will help to make Mile of Music 3 another record breaking event with even more performances and even higher attendance to the many events that weekend.”

Dave Willems, president of Willems Marketing & Events and co-founder of Mile of Music, says “This recognition from our state legislators is affirmation that the Mile of Music festival has far reaching impact on our region and state.

“The Mile of Music has done such a great job of bringing people from across the State and across the Midwest to Appleton to experience many great artists and the many venues that our city has to offer. In addition to this massive economic impact to our community, the profits from the festival will continue the tradition of giving back to the community with money going to support music education in the Appleton Public Schools and funds to help support a creative economy in downtown Appleton.

“I hope that everyone will take this opportunity to come up to Appleton this August to see some great live music, eat at great restaurants and enjoy the vivid nightlife of Downtown Appleton.  I look forward to seeing my legislative colleagues and citizens from across the state as we break the attendance record at Mile of Music again this year.”

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The regional draw of the festival multiplies the economic impact on the local area, a factor noted by Jennifer Stephany, executive director of Appleton Downtown, Inc.

“The creative economy in Downtown Appleton continues to grow and Mile of Music plays a large part in that,” Stephany says. “With 200 original artists and  more than 800 live performances in 60-plus venues including two brand new outdoor small performance venues, it really adds up to 1 Great Mile of Music.

“In addition to the economic boost those 50 venues receive with increased sales of 10-100% over that period, the other restaurants, festival-friendly retailers and local hotels also benefit.   Spending in 2014 was estimated at $2million dollars and we expect that to continue to grow as the festival grows.”

Stephany added that the trickle-down economic impact is also worth noting, with employees happy with the additional hours and tips generated over the weekend.

Mile of Music is a weekend-long festival on a mile-long stretch of College Avenue in downtown Appleton that’s all about original, hand-crafted artistry. Now in its third year, Mile of Music will be serving up singer-songwriters, combos and multi-piece bands showcasing Americana music at its very best — from roots and indie rock to country, soul, r&b, jazz and folk – from August 6-9. Nearly all performances are free. Plus, there will be many free, hands-on Music Education events throughout the festival for visitors of all ages.

For all things Mile of Music, go online to www.mileofmusic.com

Park Ridge Organics located in front of Vagabond Imports at Saturday Farm Market

Last Saturday, I was excited to stop at Park Ridge Organics located in front of Vagabond Imports and picked up a full basket of fresh produce from one of the only certified organic produce vendors at the Saturday Downtown Appleton Farm Market who was more than happy to share her harvest and knowledge with me.  Robyn sensed my tentativeness with a few ingredients and took the time to explain how to cook a few that had me perplexed. 

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That night we tried fresh roasted beets for the first time!  Yum!  I hadn’t had beets since I was a kid and then they were out of a can.  My son proclaimed “it smells like roasted corn” and was anxious to try them.  He and I both loved them. My husband simply roasted them with a little olive oil in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  The next day, I had the leftovers for lunch and they were still delicious after a minute in the microwave!  I added my beets to the top of a kale and fresh greens salad and topped it off with slices of grilled sirloin.

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The next day we roasted the fennel (with the same method we had used for the beets).  We also baked a pre-seasoned salmon  but we added green onions, parsley, dill and the roasted fennel.  On the side we enjoyed creamed spinach and fresh carrots.  Taste explosion!  We all agreed the fennel has a mild flavor, but definitely  kicked it up a notch! 

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So in addition to all the fresh produce, we got three small ears of purple kerneled corn grown sustainably by their cooperative farm, Berry Dairy.  My daughter who had not been home for each dinner, put one ear of corn in the paper bag they supplied.  She did burn a few kernels since she didn’t stop it when the popping slowed as instructed.  However she enjoyed the flavor.  And best of all, the next night she didn’t have any burned kernels in her batch!  If you are used to heavily buttered and salted popcorn, this will be different.  However, if you are interested in a great tasting, healthy alternative, this is ideal!

In case you were wondering what Certified Organic means: 

Park Ridge Organics is certified Organic by the USDA following the National Organic Program standards. This certification is the real deal!  We are regulated and inspected by our chosen certifying agency, Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA).  So what does it mean to be certified Organic?  Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.

Park Ridge became certified in 2003, their very first season.  Their farming methods are tried and true and their farm is open for inspection.   Yes, it does cost money to be certified, but it is a price they are willing to pay.  

10 Great Reasons Downtown is One Great Place

Downtown Appleton is One Great Place.  Here are 10 great reasons why!

1. Houdini Plaza: Appleton’s front yard

2. Farm Market: Year round, fresh and local

3. Fox Cities Performing Arts Center: 25 Wisconsin premieres

4. Free Summer Concert Series: Thursday Lunchtime Live and evenings!

5. Mile of Music:  Handcrafted, artisan festival.

6. Lawrence University:  Liberal arts college and conservatory of music.

7. Dynamic Arts Community:  Creative opportunities abound for all ages.

8. The Building for Kids Children’s Museum: Building imagination, creativity and confidence.

9. Interactive History and Art Museums: Iconic settings, exceptional exhibits and classes.

10. Downtown Businesses: Thriving foodie hotspot and hip shopping destination.

The Drawing Rally, A Live Art Event and Fundraiser during Mile of Music

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As a part of ARTiculture’s inaugural season, the Drawing Rally, a live art event and fundraiser, is sure to be an artistic, energetic, music-filled event. ARTiculture: Community Supported Arts is an exciting new model of art support and distribution that is based on the Community Supported Agriculture program, promoting buying direct and local. Read more about ARTiculture here.

The Rally will be taking place as a part of The Alley Project at approximately 326 E. College Avenue- the alley next the History Museum at the Castle. The Alley Project is a collaborative effort to bring a disused alley to life during 2015’s Mile of Music. The Rally will take place on Saturday, August 8th with drawing starting at 4:30pm.

Here’s how it works- there are four 30-minute live rounds of six artists and community members. During the thirty minutes, artists can create as many pieces they wish the materials of their choice. As each work is finished, they are displayed and put up for sale for $20. The proceeds will benefit Creative Appleton Downtown Inc. and ARTiculutre. Admission is free and refreshments will be available for purchase.

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ARTiculture: Community Supported Arts is modeled on the Community Supported Agriculture program, which promotes buying direct and buying local. ARTiculture gives community members the opportunity to own original works of art by local artists through seasonal “shares” of art. In addition receiving artwork with each ARTiculture share, shareholders are invited to exclusive art experiences and will receive an extra perk at the Drawing Rally. Although the Rally is open to everyone, shareholders will have the benefit of being able to choose the work of art of their choice that afternoon.

Thank you to Strathmore Artist Papers, Blue Moon Emporium, Young Space, The Alley Project, and ARTiculture CSA for making this possible.