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Chamber NewsBreak - August 2012

   Enjoy music and more at Taste of Portage     
We're turning up the volume on the fun dial this summer with the Taste of Portage, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25. The Taste of Portage Market Fair has grown over the years and evolved to include multiple days and a variety of activities like a car show and kiddie pedal pull along with a variety of musical acts. The event draws more than 5,000 people each summer.


Music takes center stage at this year's event. Friday night features Main Street Wisdom with News Anchor Carleen Wild. Saturday brings Late 4 Dinner to the intersection of Cook and DeWitt Streets and The Midwesterners under the afternoon sun at Market Square followed by 76 Juliet on Saturday night. 


Longtime staples of the Taste are back as the art and craft vendors and car show fill Cook and DeWitt streets on Saturday. The food vendors serving up delicious cuisine are coming again to take care of your appetite. Kids activities, including The Green and Gold Experience, the kids' pedal pull, Canadian Pacific Railway kiddie train, Lochlan the Magician, and the Open Arms Daycare Kids' Creation Station are back again, too.  


Join the Dairyland Walkers on their Volksmarch at 8am on Saturday morning at the Riverside Park shelter for a 5k or 11k walk around Portage. Click here for more information. 


The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for sponsors and volunteers for the Taste of Portage. If you would like to help, please call our office at 608-742-6242.


Sponsored by:

Weaver Auto Parts             Crawford Oil & Propane          Johnson Chiropractic  

Blau Family Chiropractic         Portage National Bank       Hill Automotive

First Weber Realty                  Community Bank                 

Fairway Independent Mortgage               Wisconsin River Title Consultants

   Welcome New Chamber Members   
Shamrock Bar and Grill
316 DeWitt St.
Portage, WI 53901
Contact: Tim Green at 608-434-1212
Join us for food, spirits, and a great atmosphere in downtown Portage.
   Witt receives Topper Club honors   
Gary Witt of the Witt Agency/Farmers Insurance located at Henry Drive in Portage has been inducted into the Farmers "Topper Club" and attended the 2012 meeting of Farmers' top sales producers. Witt is being recognized by Farmers for his outstanding sales achievements during 2011.
"Farmers congratulates and is proud to welcome Gary to this year's Topper Club convention held in Boca Rotan, FL. He is committed to providing quality insurance coverage's and industry-leading service to Farmers' customers".  
The Topper Club convention gave Witt an opportunity to meet with other top Farmers agents and district managers to discuss local, state and national trends and activities affecting the insurance business in their communities. Witt represents Farmers Insurance locally through The Witt Agency
located at 120 Henry Drive in Portage. 
    Portage Flea Markets continue through summer   
flea marketThe next Portage City Flea Market will be held Saturday, August 4. The flea markets are held the first Saturdays of the month, June through September and are located next to and inside the Bidwell Building at the Veterans Memorial Field at 300 Superior St. The market features crafts, produce, antiques, collectibles, and rummage sale Items. The event is held rain or shine!  Citywide Rummage Sales will take place each of these Saturdays to coincide with the flea markets.


The Flea Market hours are from 7am to 3pm. For contact information, call the Portage Parks and Recreation Department at 608-742-2178.

   Sign up now for St. Mary's Golf Outing
st. mary logo Get ready for our our 16th annual golf outing at the Portage Country Club on Sunday, August 19. Our goal is to put together an enjoyable, high quality event for those who participate, and to raise money to continue to purchase technology equipment for the school and fund the Patty Quigley Scholarship.  This year we are looking to expand on last year's event in all areas of the tournament including sponsorships, prizes and participants.  

Our golf outing is a great opportunity for your business to gain exposure for itself while, at the same time, helping to support a very worthy cause.  As a family this is a great way to show your support of Catholic Education.

If you would like to participate, we would greatly appreciate your support. Click on the image to the right for access to golf registration and sponsorship forms. Call Kari at 608-742-6998 for more information.

   Elks Lodge serving lunch during Farmer's Markets

The Portage Elks Lodge will be seving lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm on Thursdays in summer at the Elks Lodge  porch located to the north of Commerce Plaza across from the Farmers Market. Brats, burgers, chips, soda and water are a great offering and are the perfect compliment to those shopping the market.  

   Congressman Petri to host Meet and Greet in Portage
Sixth District Congressman Tom Petri has scheduled two Meet and Greet campaign stops in Columbia County on Tuesday, August 7 in order to give area voters an opportunity to meet him and discuss issues of interest in an informal setting.

Petri will be at the Portage Café, located at 111 West Cook Street in Portage, from noon until 1:30pm Tuesday. Later that afternoon he will meet citizens at the Hydro Street Brewing Company & Eatery, located at 152 West James Street in Columbus, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

"I hope people will stop in for a refreshment and let me know what issues are of greatest concern to them. I welcome this chance to meet more residents of Columbia County as I continue to familiarize myself with this area, which represents a new addition to the Sixth Congressional District."

Due to congressional redistricting that took place as a result of the 2010 census, Columbia County will become part of Wisconsin's Sixth Congressional District beginning in January 2013.

All are welcome to attend. For more information about Congressman Petri, please visit or find him on Facebook at

   News from Portage Center for the Arts
portage center for the arts Beginning Poetry Workshop
Have you always wanted to try writing poetry, but felt intimidated by this daunting genre? Join us as Linda Balsiger leads us on this exciting journey as we explore some basic poetry information and learn a simple technique geared for beginning poets. Linda has taught students to approach poetry with some steps anyone can master. Come play with words! Let's see what's possible! August 7, 8, 9 in Drury Gallery; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:30a - 11:30a; $25 - You must register in advance.

Photos in the Foyer
Portage Center for the Arts is pleased to expand its' popular monthly exhibit of local talent by adding poetry to our themed contest. Entries are due on the 1st of each month. Voting is still $1.00 per vote; with voting for photos and poetry separately; a winner in each category, each month. Themes this year are: September - "My Favorite Garden"; October - "Go Packers!"; November - "Fall Colors"; December - "Comfort Food"; January - "Little Rascals"; February - "These are a few of my favorite things"; March - "Real Life Super Heroes"; April - "Stormy Weather"; May is the Winners' Showcase.

For more information, call Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E. Cook St., at 608-742-5655.

ed don rick ad

    Eulberg to guide summer walking tours again
judy walking tourLocal historian Judy Eulberg will again lead the Historic Downtown Walking Tours this summer.  The one-hour tours will depart from the Chamber office, 104 W. Cook St., at 10am.  The tours are free to the public and will be held on the first and third Saturdays of the month, June through August.

We are happy to have Judy back as a guide and look forward to another great season of enlightening locals and visitors alike with the history of our downtown. 

Join us Saturday, August 4 or Saturday, August 18 at 10am! 
   Hands-On History Event Announced
The Historic Indian Agency House presents a Hands-On History event: "They Lived in What?!", Pioneer Homes Children's Workshop. Hardy American pioneers used the resources around them to construct new homes--sod houses, dugouts, log cabins, frame houses and more.

We'll take a look at all of these and even make our own adobe-style mud bricks! And every child takes home a copy of Bobbie Kalman's book Homes of the West (an $8 value)! 

Session 1 is Friday, August 10 from 10am to 12pm and Session 2 is Saturday, August 11 from 10am to 12pm. The cost is $6 per child and $5 for members. Only 15 allowed per session, so make your reservation today. Call 608-742-6362 or email The Agency House is located at 1490 Agency House Road in Portage, Wisconsin.  
   Madison College-Portage offers Microsoft Office Training

Madison College - Portage campus has heard several requests from Chamber members for Microsoft Excel 2010 training and we are happy to announce the following upcoming opportunities.


10-103-133 - Excel Beginning 2010, 31163 - Short Term, Friday,  9/28 4:30-8:30pm and Saturday, 10/6 8:00am-4:30pm -  $120.90     OR

10-103-133 - Excel Beginning 2010, 31164 -  Short Term, Thursdays,  8/30-10/18  4pm-6:30pm - $120.90  OR  60-103-633 - Excel 10 INTRO, 36791 - Short Term, Thursdays,  11/29-12/13  1pm-3:50pm - $44.63   OR  10-103-139 - Excel -Intermediate 2010, 35659 - Short Term, Thursdays 10/25-12/20, 4:00 - 6:30 pm - $120.90


These and many others classes are available at Madison Area Technical College-Portage Campus, 330 W. Collins St. Information and registration at 608-745-3100 or online at - Apply Now/Register - Registration Process


Please feel free to contact Barbara Martin if you have questions or are interested in training for you or at your business. Madison College has many training solutions available to accommodate a wide variety of training needs. We'd love to hear from you.


Barbara Martin, Community & Corporate Services, Madison Area Technical College  or 608-745-3131. 


   Upcoming Business After 5

Business After 5 - Northwoods Inc.

Tuesday, August 7th from 5pm-7pm

Join fellow Chamber members for networking, conversation and refreshments at our monthly Business After Five. Hosted by Northwoods Inc.(new date selected due to primary election)


September Business After 5 - Bindl Chiropractic

October Business After 5 - Indian Trails Campground

November Business After 5 - Free Spirit Travel

December Business After 5 - Prairie Flower Beads


Reserve a month in 2013 for your business before they're taken!!

   Say cheese! Visit Galley Studio     
galleys studio
Every customer requests a variety of needs prior to their photography session at Galley Studio. Our staff will take the time to listen and accommodate those needs. Customer service is a top priority coupled with a quality finished product and value. 
Here at Galley Studio - you will be offered a traditionally high quality product.

Our studio continues to produce a fully stabilized mounted protectively coated product, where in this field so many other studios have lowered their quality and standards.  Galley Studio specializes in only the finest materials - which insures that your portraits will endure many more years of wonderful memories.


For more information, call Galley Studio, 222 W. Cook St., at 608-742-6151.



Community Events

Glacier rock July 2012
   Party on the Porch with Columbia County Historical Society
The Columbia County Historical Society invites you to a "Party on the Porch" on Saturday, August 4 from 10am to 2pm at the Myrtle Lintner Spear Museum, 112 North Main Street in Pardeeville. This is a free event featuring a walk-through tour, prize drawings and refreshments. For more information, call Marilyn at 608-697-4403 or Mike at 608-429-3236.    
   Super Sidewalk Sales
August 4th 9am-5pm
Summer sidewalk sales with specials throughout various stores in the downtown. Spend $25 in any Portage Main Street downtown business or combination of businesses during the sidewalk sales and you will be eligible for randomly drawn prizes for cash credits. Come shop for the day and enjoy lunch! 608-745-1861 
   August Chamber Meeting & Event Dates
7th:   Business After 5 - Northwoods Inc.     5pm-7pm 
8th: Ribbon Cutting - The Shamrock Bar and Grill    5pm
24-25th:   Taste of Portage Market Fair
   Kiwanis Bike to Read - Bike Ride Fundraiser  
Please join the Portage Kiwanis Club on August 11, 2012 in their Metric Century "Ride to Read" fundraiser pedaling through scenic Amish country with 4 routes available. The proceeds of this fundraiser will be used to purchase books for KIDS.   
Click here for more information about the event.
   Zona Gale celebrates Friendship Village  
Join us on Saturday, August 18 for Zona Gale Celebrates Friendship Village held at various locations in Portage. Click here for more information.

   7th Annual Music Fest  
Music Festival held at Lawton Field to support the Greater Portage Youth Education Foundation.  Tickets are $10 and food and beverage will be available at the event, held on Saturday, August 18 from 6pm to 11pm. For more information, contact Tom Pinion 608-393-9945. 

   Ribbon Cuttings
friendly tavern
A ribbon cutting was held at The Friendly Tavern, 223 W. Oneida St., in recognition of a new owner of this establishment. Stop in for the Hall of Fame Fish Fry and Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts beginning at 7am. Open 3pm until close Monday through Thursday, 10:30am until close on Fridays, and 7am until close Saturday and Sunday. Call 608-745-3355 for more information.


   Give Portage Green Gift Certificates!  
Portage Green Gift Certificates make an excellent gift. Used just like cash, the certificates can be purchased from the Portage Chamber in $5 and $10 increments. Recipients of the Portage Green may redeem them at these participating Chamber member businesses. By buying Portage Green Gift Certificates, you are helping to boost local business by keeping thousands of dollars right here in Portage. Don't get worked up over figuring out what to get someone; make it easy on yourself and give them Portage Green Gift Certificates! For more information, call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.


The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is providing leadership for
 building a healthy economy and a high quality of life in the Portage Area.
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NEWS BREAK is a monthly publication of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce.  Please contact the Chamber if you have news about your business that you would like to include in the next issue. 
 Our deadline is the 20th of the month.  Email your news to