Waupaca hosts Summer Block Party
By Angie Landsverk
Waupaca’s Summer Block Party will include food, music, games and a craft beer walk.
The Downtown on Main event will take place from noon to 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 28, at Rotary Riverview Park.
It is being presented by the city of Waupaca, Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce and Waupaca King & In Between.
“We wanted to put our efforts toward one event,” said Brennan Kane, Waupaca’s director of community and economic development.
This is the third year the city, chamber and retailer’s group are working together to sponsor downtown events.
“We had good attendance last summer at the Family Picnic and Summer Games. We estimate about 500 people attended,” Kane said. “We always have had good attendance at the Spudder Mini Open. We felt by putting the two events together, we could create one event.”
With Strawberry Fest in June, Waupaca’s July 4 festivities earlier this month, the triathlon and Arts on the Square in August and then Oktoberfest and Fall O’ Rama in September, the organizers decided to place the block party event in between all of those events.
There are several reasons why they decided to hold the event in Rotary Riverview Park.
When the Main Street program was active in Waupaca, River Fest was held in that park.
“We feel we are reflecting on the past but moving forward with new traditions,” he said.
The park, located behind Main Street, is also an asset to the community, Kane said.
During the city’s work on developing a plan for downtown, Rotary Riverview Park continues to come up in the discussions.
“We want to re-energize the park,” he said. “We thought this is a great opportunity to try something new but also get more people aware of the park.”
In addition, holding the event in the park creates less of a disturbance for businesses on Main Street, as Main Street will not be closed.
The street that will be closed for Waupaca’s Summer Block Party will be Cooper Street – the street that runs through the park.
It will be closed from 10 p.m. Thursday, July 27 through the block party.
Kane said handicap parking will be available there though.
To accompany those who park there, as well as those planning to attend the July 28 event, the city will relax its two-hour parking restrictions in the downtown area.
There will be no parking enforcement on:
• Main and Washington streets, from Badger to Granite streets.
• Union Street, from Division to Washington streets.
• Fulton Street, from Jefferson to Washington streets.
• Sessions Street, from Main to Washington streets.
• Jefferson Street, from Badger to Fulton streets.
• Division Street, from Badger to Union streets.
People may also park in the city’s Granite Street parking lot, its lot on the corner of Union and Washington streets and in the parking lot by the former site of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Community, on the corner of Badger and State streets.
Kane said the Summer Block Party is a family event.
There will be a free picnic featuring hot dogs, chips and lemonade from noon to 3 p.m.
There will be a fun zone for children with a maker space, free games and bounce houses.
The Spudder Mini Open will take place throughout the day on Cooper Street.
Four or five food trucks will also be part of the event.
In addition, it will include a free music festival and craft beer walk.
The band shelter in the park will be used for the music.
The Suds & Sounds Music Fest will be presented from noon to 11 p.m. by the city’s radio station, 96.3 WILW.
It will begin at noon with the station playing a variety of songs.
The station will also play music interludes.
The music fest schedule will begin at 1 p.m. and include the one-man band Grayling Pingel, Galynn Goodwill’s folk rock, the original and Americana music of Irene’s Garden, the bluegrass and ragtime music of Red Ben & Missing Miles, Kazmir’s pscyhedelic rock. Christopher Dale’s original music and country music by Genessee Depot.
Each act will play for about 45 minutes.
The other aspect of the event is the Sud’s Shuffle Craft Beer Walk.
It will be held from 3-7 p.m. at the following downtown businesses: Chain O’ Lakes Cabinetry, Inc., Embellishments, Firefly Floral & Gifts, Fletcher’s Jewelry, 44 North, Lucky Tree, Main Street Marketplace, Memaw’s Toning, Paca Pub and Grill, Stange’s of Waupaca, Inc. Studio 212 Hair Salon and Waupaca River Gallery & Gifts.
Kane said a variety of craft beers from Wisconsin, as well as from microbreweries outside the state, will be featured.
People will also be able to purchase craft beer and domestic beer in a beer graden.
Tickets for the craft beer walk are $25 and may be purchased at the chamber’s office on Main Street.
Those who buy a ticket will also get a commemorative mug for the event.
Kane said they are also looking for volunteers to help with the event. Those who are interested may contact the chamber.