2019 - Year End Recap!
Well, it's here. The 20's! A new year to bring in and a new decade to celebrate. First though, we wanted to take a look back through some highlights from 2019. It would be impossible to list them all but who doesn't love an end of the year recap.To start off the year, as always, we printed a new visitor guide book. This year a painting by Diana Johnston graced the cover. Her depiction of beautiful, historic Pendarvis was a colorful image we enjoyed throughout the year.
In February, it was time look at all the unique ice sculptures lining the streets at the 2nd annual Ice Lantern Festival hosted by AMP. The high schoolers made numerous lanterns and many of the downtown business owners did as well. Check out the hot chocolate bar that popped up outside Gray Dog Deli!
After the freezing polar vortex in winter 2019, spring came! We were all so relieved to see some warm temps and watch the snow melt away. We welcomed the first (of four) Gallery Night, had our annual spring garage sale weekend, and saw the opening of a new season for two Mineral Point staples: Pendarvis and the Saturday morning farmers market! We also celebrated Historic Preservation Weekend the first weekend of May. There was a beer walk in downtown Mineral Point, touring through some of the historic buildings that used to house various bars over the years.
In June it was time to get a little whimsical. Shake Rag Alley hosted their annual Tour of Fairy Homes. Community members were invited to Shake Rag's campus to make fairy houses, fairy wands, and take a "house tour" wandering around and spying on all the tiny fairy filled homes. June was also the first Jammin' on the Porch of the year at Orchard Lawn. A favorite way to wind down the week by many locals, everyone was happy to finally be able to sit outside and enjoy some live music together!
Happy 4th of July! Always a great day in Mineral Point. Starting the day off bright and early with the 2 and 5 mile "gettin' the lead out" run/walk. Then the parade down high street, ice cream in the park, and fireworks at dusk!
August saw two more memorable events. The first annual Blues Festival and Gallery Night. The theme of August's Gallery Night was CHEESE. Who doesn't love that? Downtown shops and galleries all stayed open late and served a different kind of local cheese made by Hook's Cheese. A delicious time was had by all. The Blues Fest was held at Orchard Lawn and let me tell you- it was fun! Music and tents, and laughter, and beautiful weather for a first time event. It was the buzz of the town!
In September, the Chamber of Commerce had a little something of our own to celebrate. We moved into a new building (the historic firehouse) and we had an open house and a ribbon cutting to celebrate.
And who could forget about the Fall Art Tour in October. Art lovers descend upon the city for this fun, art filled, three day weekend. Artists are set up in their studios and demonstrating their unique skills in a myriad of mediums all throughout the weekend. This year was the 26th annual tour. Guest houses were booked, restaurants served people lunches, and everyone enjoyed the art filled weekend. Also of note, this October Shake Rag hosted it's first annual masquerade ball. They Lind Pavilion was decorated to fit the theme and costume enthusiasts dressed up in their finest costumes and masks and danced the night away.
In November the Mineral Point Opera House celebrated another fabulous film festival. The Driftless Film Festival is a true gem and a favorite of many people in our little community. This year the opera house showcased many films and documentaries, including one documentary on one of Mineral Point's "adopted" celebrities, Betty White. Also in November, Mineral Point hosted a team from the UW Extension office to help with brainstorm with community members about what they would like to see out of the new High Street when it gets its makeover in the near future. Designers met with business owners, residents, students, and guests to talk all things street renovations. There was a lovely presentation hosted at the Opera House at the end of the weekend.
Rounding out the year, an annual event loved and beloved by many- Candlelit shopping. Luminaries lined the streets, chestnuts were roasted, carolers sang, and fireworks were lit off on the hill above High Street. The weather was a dream and people enjoyed late night shopping and taking in the beautiful sites of historic Mineral Point. Also of note, one of the cutest projects of the year happens right around the same time. The Chamber partners with downtown retailers and the elementary school to invite students K-5 to come into the shops and design them holidays ads for Shop Small Saturday. The kids love coming and asking questions and we love displaying their cute ads during the holiday shopping season.
Thanks to all for making 2019 one for the books. Thank you to all the restaurants, guest houses, galleries, shops, residents and tourists alike. You all make Mineral Point the unique place that it is and we loving sharing this space with all of you. We value you and your continued support and we're looking forward to this new year and new decade. Cheers, all! Happy 2020!