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Chamber NewsBreak - July 2013

   Fairytales and Fables greet Concert in the Park 
independence celebration
The 21st Annual Concert in the Park featuring the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performing at Pauquette Park has become a great Portage summer tradition enjoyed by thousands each year. Another great afternoon is in store for our community this year on Saturday, June 29. Fairytales and Fables is the theme of this year's performance, scheduled for 7pm. 
Kicking the event off is our 4th Annual Independence Celebration Parade at 4pm magically featuring the same theme of Fairytales and Fables! Popular attractions of the parade this year are members of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band, Dual County Community Band, and Miss Wisconsin. Following the parade, the UW Marching Band leads the crowd in its famous '5th Quarter' at Pauquette Park. The orchestra takes the stage at 7pm followed local musician Madison Malone at 8:30pm. A majestic fireworks display over the Wisconsin River caps off the evening at 9:30pm.  
Thank you to all the businesses and individuals who make this great event possible each year. Donations and parade entries are welcome, contact the Chamber at 608-742-6242.  
Explore Portage Logo ho-chunk gaming logo culvers logo  bcow ampi pepsi logo community bank of portage WI river title consultants ds healthcare  register logo    PAT HALASZ   portage lumber
Cardinal FG
Eleanor's Friends
Alliant Energy
Frontier Communications
Maribeth & Dennis Dorn
Portage Lions Club
Crawford Oil & Propane
Curran & Seubert Dental Office
Edward Jones-Klay Vehring Advisor
Bremner Granite
Johnson Chiropractic
New Life Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Portage National Bank
U.S. Bank
Dave and Judy Eulberg
Alumni Basketball Tournament
CrossPoint Assembly of God
Portage Rotary Club 
Kathy Houzner - Waddell & Reed
John Holmes
Nona's Tailoring & Tuxes
Hill Automotive
Pardeeville Family Dentistry
Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home 
Kwik Trip
Trecek Automotive
Miller & Miller Attorneys at Law
Best Western Resort & Conference Center
Judge Howard Latton
Jean Kuhn
Sheila Link Agency-American Family
Portage Printing
Portage Furniture Store
VFW Post #1707
Portage Cab Company
Picha Funeral Home 
   Business Profile: Edgewater Home & Garden   
edgewater greenhouse Chuck Ness decided to move his family from the chaos of Southern California in 1977 with the hopes of purchasing a retail greenhouse, and that is what brought us to historic Portage, WI. We have been an independent family owned part of Portage for over 35 years. Chuck Ness, along with his business partners Doug and Rita Strand have seen our business grow through three separate locations, until they finally built the current location in 1998. Chuck's daughter Carole LaVigne has worked with the company since 1988, and her husband Jim since 1991. Edgewater Home and Garden offers a full service florist, home décor, garden décor, indoor and outdoor plants, as well as trees and shrubs. We have a terrific gift selection and also have introduced women's accessories in the past 2 years.

One of our favorite aspects about our business is that it is constantly changing. We are always changing with the seasons...gardening in the spring and summer, fall decorations, pumpkins, mums and centerpieces for the harvest season, and then fresh Christmas trees, handmade wreaths we make right at the store, Christmas ornaments and decorations, and gifts for the holiday season. We are continuously thinking about what the next season will hold for us and what new and exciting things we can incorporate.

Since we are constantly thinking of new aspects for our business, we have introduced the Northside Farmer's Market at Edgewater this season, on Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm. It has been met with great excitement and will be growing every week. We think it is a great way to encourage local shopping, support our community and the people in it. We have more future plans for the company and are very excited to implement them!

We hope that when people think of Edgewater, they think of unique and exciting gifts, plants and items they can beautify their lives and their friends and families lives with. We want people to come, enjoy themselves, know that they can receive expert advice and help on any gardening issues and that we will do whatever it takes to go above and beyond their expectations, and being a part of the Portage community for at least another 35 years!

For more information, call Edgewater Home and Garden, 2957 County Road CX, at 608-742-6558.


Don rick web


   Welcome New Members         
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
850 Armstrong St.,  Portage, WI 53901
Pastor Dan Kelm, Pastor Alan Boeck and Bonnie Konkel at 608-742-2387
Church and school with child development center.

Badger Planning Group, LLC
216 W. Wisconsin St., PO Box 76   Portage WI, 53901
Karl Kindschi at 608-742-9934
Financial planner.
   Go for a stroll: Take a Guided Downtown Walking Tour
judy walking tour Spend the morning learning about Historic Downtown Portage. The famous free guided tour, featured on the Discover Wisconsin-Portage program, starts at the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce office, 104 W. Cook St.
Local historian Judy Eulberg again leads the tours this year. The tours are happening the first Saturdays of the month through August. 
Next tour: Saturday, July 6 at 10 a.m.
   Enjoy Concerts at the Portage each week  
concert at the Portage
Concerts at the Portage will be held every Wednesday at 6:30pm at the VFW Post #1707, 215 W. Collins St., behind Walgreen's in Portage. Enjoy these free concerts featuring a different band every week. Please note that the concerts have moved for 2013 during the construction at Riverside Park. 

Bring your chairs and blankets and listen to the sounds of music during the summer. You can bring your own picnic dinner or order carry-out from a local restaurant. Desserts will be served by local non-profit groups. 

Click on the logo at right for a list of performances. For more information, call Carmen at the Columbia County Visitors Bureau at 608-742-6161.
commbank april ad
   Red Cross Blood Drive at Ho-Chunk Gaming     
ho-chunk gaming logo Looking for a way to give back to the community but don't have a lot of time to volunteer? The American Red Cross reminds people that in only about an hour, those eligible can help save lives by donating blood and feel instant gratification. 

The Ho-Chunk Gaming Blood Drive is scheduled for Monday, July 8 from 8:30am to 1:30pm at their location at S3214 Hwy 12. Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 
   Pierce's Christmas in July food Pantry Promotion and Brat Hut Fundraiser   
pierces logo
Pierce's Marketplace, 2915 New Pinery Road, is holding a Christmas in July Food Pantry Promotion beginning on Thursday, July 11 through August 4, 2013. Help us fill the Food Pantry this summer. Make a cash donation or purchase a Food Pantry Bag already packaged with items needed.
Pierce's Brat Hut is serving as a fundraiser for the Portage Family Skate Park on Thursday, July 11 and Saturday, July 20 from 10am to 2pm. For more information about the fundraiser, contact June Paul at 608-742-7787.
   Portage City Flea Markets     
The 2013 Portage City Flea Market feature crafts, produce, antiques, collectibles, and rummage sale items happens on the first Saturdays of the month at Veterans Memorial Field, home of the Columbia County Fair. The event is held inside and outside the Bidwell building in the center of the area from 7am to 3pm rain or shine.

The free-to-the-public markets continue through September. Booth spaces for vendors, measuring approximately 15'x10', are available for a fee. Call the Portage Park and Recreation Department at 608-742-2178. The next chance to enjoy the market is Saturday, July 6.
   Garden Tractor Daze   
Garden Tractor Daze at the Columbia County Fairgrounds from Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14. The show features farm tractors, hit and miss engines, antique farm garden equipment, pedal pull for adults and kids, indoor flea market and farm toy show with an outside garden tractor swap meet.
Raffles will be held both days. Garden tractor judging by attendees for best Garden Tractors by make, plaques awarded to winners. The show starts at noon on Friday and ends at noon on Sunday. Admission for the general public is $5 with children under 5 free. For more information, call Bret Esse at 608-297-7400.
maggie mae poster
   Brown Bag Lectures at Aldo Leopold Center
The next Aldo Leopold Brown Bag Lecture will be held on Friday, July 12 from noon to 1:30pm and will feature outdoor writer Kevin Searock, whose work has appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal, Midwest Fly Fishing, Wisconsin Trails, and Wisconsin Outdoor Journal. Bring your lunch and join us as Kevin reads from his new book Troutsmith - An Angler's Tales and Travels, released earlier this year by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Through his images and essays, Kevin will explore the connections between land, water, and people as seen through the eyes of a life-long angler. Kevin will sign and remarque copies of Troutsmith at the end of the session.

The following Brown Bag Lecture will be held on Friday, July 26 from noon to 1:30pm. Dr. Brei's current research aims to bring together Leopold's notion of an "ecological conscience" and current work on social trends and transmission. His presentation will involve locating "Western" culture's position along the threshold between the second and third stages in Leopold's ethical sequence. This being very much a work in progress (double-meaning intended), questions and suggestions are welcome. 

These free lectures will be held at the Aldo Leopold Foundation, E13701 Levee Road. For more information, call 
   Relay for Life     
Relay For Life is a community event to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and empower individuals to fight back against a disease that takes too much from too many. The Community is welcome to enjoy music, food, fun, entertainment and activities on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 at the Portage High School Track. 

On Friday, the Opening Ceremony begins at 6pm with Survivor and Caregiver Reception at 6:30 pm under the tent. The Luminaria Ceremony (candlelight vigil) begins at 9:15pm. The Closing Ceremony is slated for 9am on Saturday. The Relay For Life of Portage supports the American Cancer Society by helping people get well, stay well, finding cures and fighting back against cancer.

Luminary and Caregiver bags can be purchased in advance by visiting Sally Raimer at Hair Works + or by contacting Kristi Grothman at 697-5532.  DJ Services provided by Bob Viking. For more information, contact Kristi Grothman at 608-697-5532 or visit
northwoods sample tray

   The MacKenzie Center Outdoor Skills Day
Enjoy a variety of outdoor skills; archery, fishing, outdoor cooking, hikes, shooting sports and more at the MacKenzie Center, W7303 County Road CS & Q two miles east of Poynette, on Saturday, July 13. Rotate among the skills at your own pace. The Outdoor Skills Day is free; concession stand is available at added cost.

Event is rain or shine, event is 100% outdoors. Families, scouts, home school groups and people of all ages welcome. 
Contact Ruth Ann Lee at 608-635-8105 or for more information visit 

   Events at Indian Agency House     
spring hiah web
On the second Saturday of the month from June to October of our 2013 season, residents of Portage are encouraged to take a FREE guided tour of the Historic Indian Agency House. In grateful recognition of 2013 operations funding granted by the City of Portage, we invite our in-town neighbors to learn more about the historic site that your tax dollars help support. Proof of Portage residency required; call for a list of accepted documents.
Use of the Nature Trail is an additional fee, except on Nature Trail Tuesdays (2nd Tues. of the month, (June to Oct 2013)-when Wisconsinites walk for free!
The Historic Indian Agency House will host another installment of their popular "Hands-On History" youth clinics, with one session on Friday, July 19 and another on Saturday, July 20th. This fun and educational workshop will concentrate on the Native American tradition of mound building, with an emphasis on the moundworks of the Ho-Chunk tribe. The Agency House, which sits on historic Ho-Chunk lands, has a long Native history, making it a particularly appropriate setting to share the arts and traditions of our country's earliest inhabitants.
To accommodate the expected high demand for this workshop, two sessions are being offered, with a limit of 15 participants per session. One session will be held from 9am to 12pm on Friday, July 19, with another scheduled for Saturday, July 20, also from 9am to 12pm. The workshop is recommended for children ages 7 to 12. The cost is $7 per person with reservations strongly suggested. (Please note that Supporters Family members will receive a reduced rate of $5 per child.)  
The Historic Indian Agency House at Fort Winnebago will host their fourth annual lecture series this summer, with one lecture a month from June to September. "New Beginnings & Fresh Perspectives" Summer Speaker Series, installment 2 of 4, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 30.
For more information, contact Destinee at Historic Indian Agency House at 608-742-6363 or visit
   Sand County Fine Arts / Rotary Club Brew & Wine Festival  
Portage Center for the Arts is proud to sponsor the Sand County Fine Arts Festival at the Market Square in Historic Downtown Portage happening on Saturday, July 20 from 10am to 5pm. This is a juried outdoor exhibition for artists both amateur and professional. 
On display will be art in all mediums, styles, experimental and mixed techniques and creative schools of thought. This is a fine arts exhibit and all work displayed should be for sale. New this year will be a children's area. The event also features live music, great food and a beer tent hosted by the Rotary Club.
   River Haven Fundraiser      

A Pig Roast Fundraiser for the River Haven Homeless Shelter will be held the VFW Post #1707, 215 W. Collins St. behind Walgreens, from 3pm to 8pm on Saturday, July 20. This roast will have all the fixing and free beer. $10 in advance and $12.50 at the door. 


There will be a Bean Bag Tournament with cash prizes. Advance registration at 608-297-2420. Two person team $10 entry fee. Prizes drawn at 7:45pm and 50/50 raffle every half hour. Advance tickets available at River Haven Shelter, 109 E. Pleasant St.  Click here for a list of auction items.

   Shopping Night Out   
Shopping Night Out featuring local home vendors will take place at the Corner Pocket Sports Bar & Grill, 301 DeWitt St., on Tuesday, July 30 from 6:30pm to 8pm. Shop, drink and dine at this event featuring local home vendors including Independent Pampered Chef Director Jamie Herrmann. For more information, contact Jamie at 608-516-8079.
   Columbia County Fair   
The Columbia County Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24 through Sunday, July 28 with games, carnival, food and fun for all at the Fairgrounds in Portage. Some highlights include: Grandstand Entertainment on Wednesday; Super Cross on Thursday; Catch a Pig followed by Vince Anthony on Friday, Tony Rocker and the Comeback Band Concert sponsored by the Columbia County Visitor's Bureau, Demo Derby on Saturday and Tractor/Truck Pull on Sunday.

Visit for a complete fair schedule or call Russ Shaw for more information at 608-697-5307.
   Friends of the Portage Library Book Sale   
The Portage Library is seeking books, audio books, CDs, DVDs, graphic novels and videos in good, usable condition during the Annual friends of the Public Library Book Sale from Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27. Please do NOT include Reader's Digest or condensed books, encyclopedias, textbooks or magazines.

Donations can be dropped off at the Portage Library, 253 W. Edgewater St., or call 742-6493 or 742-7783 to arrange for pick up. Proceeds from the book sale are used to support youth and adult programming and services.
   Summer Movie Series    
portage theaters logo The Portage Theatres is offering a summer morning family movie series. 'Disney's Oceans' will be shown July 2-4 at 10am.  'Hotel Transylvania' will be shown July 9-11 at 10am 'Disney's African Cats' will be shown July 16-18 at 10am. 'Mr. Popper's Penguins' will be shown July 23-25 at 10am. 'Escape to Planet Earth' will be shown July 30 to August 1 at 10am. 
Following dates will be announced in upcoming newsletters and found on the Chamber's event webpage.
   Building Tune-up   
The Express Building Tune-up Program is a new offering designed to make retrocommissioning (RCx) services accessible to small-to-medium size commercial customers through specific targeting of no-cost and low-cost opportunities to optimize building operations. For just $250, qualifying customers will receive improvements to their mechanical and electrical systems that can be made on-the-spot or within days of the walk-through assessment, resulting in immediate energy savings.

Click here for a Program overview. For more information, contact Brian Lambert, Director of Utility & Customer Services, Focus on Energy at 608-230-7009.
   Pride of America Weekend Wish Fundraiser   
pride of america web logo For the past 15 years the seasonal campers of Pride of America Camping Resort have raised money for different charities, which has included the Ronald McDonald House, Relay for Life, Hope Fund for Cancer and the American Cancer Society. This year the First Annual Pride of America Weekend Wish Fundraiser was held on Saturday, May 18 and was an amazing success. Donations for the event were obtained from POA campers and sponsors from businesses in the area. A full list of business sponsors can be seen here

Over $6,000 was raised from the event and will send up to four deserving families to spend a three day and two night stay at the Pride of America Camping Resort. The weekend will include a fully furnished cabin, golf cart rental, POA Vouchers for food and fun and lasting memories. 

Do you know an amazing local family who could use a weekend away? Maybe it's a family with a special needs child, a caregiver who always puts others needs before their own, someone who keeps a positive attitude through tough times, or a special family who has changed your community. Does this family deserve a vacation? We are now accepting nominations for deserving families. Nominees will be reviewed by a Board of POA Seasonal Campers and narrowed down to their finalists. Weekend Wish nomination letters are due by July 1, 2013 and should be sent to: Todd Gitter, W8823 County Road TC, Oakfield WI 53065 or email at

Community Events

   Chamber Meeting & Event Dates   
3rd  Ribbon Cutting at Northwoods Bakery and Sandwich Makery    9am
4th  Chamber office closed in observance of the Fourth
9th  Business After 5 at Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters   5pm-7pm
10th  Ribbon Cutting for Splash Pad   10am
   Ribbon Cuttings  
okrayLarry Okray is now the owner of Portage Insurance Center, Inc.. Combining his already established Okray Insurance Services, Inc. with Portage Insurance, Inc. brings about unparalleled insurance offerings for the community and surrounding areas. Representing over 15 companies they write Home, Auto, Farm, Contractor, Business and Life Insurance. They can be reached by visiting the office located at 201 E. Wisconsin Ave. or by calling 608-742-5560.

51 guns rcLocated inside 51 Auto Sales, we now have a gun store that specializes in home defense, AR-15's, and concealed carry guns with a nice supply of ammo. We still offer vehicles under $12,000, window tinting, portable buildings, and truck accessories, too!! For more information, call Jason Wright at 51 Guns, located at N6826 Hwy 51 South, at 608 742-2994.
   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. 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