Taste and Tunes a big hit
I-S venues host weekend of music
By Holly Neumann
The goal of Taste and Tunes of Iola-Scandinavia was to encourage people to experience what area businesses have to offer.
“We were very pleased with how Tastes and Tunes turned out,” said Greg Loescher, president of the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce. “The venues were getting attendees throughout Friday night and all day Saturday, not just during the music, to get their cards stamped for prizes.”
According to Loescher, a number of people told him that they visited some of the venues for the first time.
Tim Welch, director of the Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness and Aquatic Center (ISCFAC), agreed.
“I saw a lot of people here today,” Welch said. “Some old friends and a lot of new ones too. Some of the guests have never been here before. They came inside to check out the place and some even asked for membership information. That is so beneficial for us.”
The ISCFAC hosted Bill Kehl, who brought in different instruments for people to play and even created a drum circle.
Young and old had fun participating.
“I have never drummed this much before,” Sophia Jone said s. “It feels good.”
“I feel rhythm now,” Lydia Jones added. “This was so much fun.”
More than 15 local venues hosted a variety of entertainment.
Adding to the fun was the Regal Harmony Barbershop Quartet that made surprise performances at area businesses.
“They walked up and down Main Street in Iola visiting all the venues, unannounced, and sang a few songs,” said Loescher. “The quartet even sang in front of Jake’s Barber Shop next to the barber pole. We expect to have a few more surprises like that next year.”
Businesses and patrons alike seemed to enjoy the event.
“We live in Chicago, but we also own a house in Scandinavia, so we spend half our time here and the other half there,” said Herb Spooner. “This is fantastic. This is one reason we like coming to Wisconsin all the time. You don’t find this kind of stuff back in Chicago.”
“I think this is what Iola-Scandinavia is all about,” Sandi Schuettpelz said.
The Chamber of Commerce is already looking ahead to next year.
“The venues were pleased with the flow of people all weekend. All of the bands enjoyed playing and one has already been lined up for next year,” said Loescher. “One thing we will work on for next year is pumping up the “Tastes” aspect of the event, getting the venues to come up with creative food and drink specials.”
“This is a great idea,” said Diane Ayres from TooDar’s Diner. “It is like the spirit of Iola-Scandinavia has come alive.”