Grand Opera House

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Worth the Drive: Wautoma

Drive about an hour west of the Fox Cities on Highway 22 South or Highway 21 West to get to Wautoma. You’ll know you are getting close when you start to see the hand-painted signs dotted along the highway, each announcing the freshest seasonal vegetables from local growers. Whether it’s asparagus in spring or corn in the summer, each season offers its own bounty and a trip to Wautoma proves it.

Located in the heart of Central Wisconsin, Wautoma is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The community of just over 2,000 residents is nestled among crystal clear lakes, nationally-acclaimed trails and charming cabins for rent. Hikers, bikers, snowmobilers and cross country skiers will discover numerous trails to enjoy. Wautoma is a welcome reprieve from all the hustle and bustle, but it also provides the essentials like cute coffee shops for that all-important morning espresso which we recommend sipping while overlooking Silver Lake.

Culture Clash

Music, history and the arts thrive in Wautoma 

077-WAU-Historic-MuseumWaushara County Historical Society Museum

The Museum is located in the former Waushara County jail built in 1908. The sheriff and his family lived in the front portion of the house and prisoners were held in jail cells in the back. In addition to Native American artifacts, historical photos and memorabilia, the museum offers a bit of macabre local history as well. Visitors can stand in the cell where notorious serial killer Ed Gein spent the night after his 1957 arrest and can see several rifles that were recovered from Gein’s kitchen. Stop in for a guided tour Wednesday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday hours are being determined so call ahead to confirm.

Black Hawk Folk Society

This nonprofit organization works to promote live acoustic folk music in Waushara County. Monthly concerts are held on the second Saturday of the month at 7 p.m. On August 12, the duo Fendrick and Peck will perform blues, bluegrass and folk tunes with a community potluck dinner preceding the concert at 6 p.m. Concerts are presented at the Mountainview Community Center in Wautoma from August through May. The group also hosts monthly acoustic jam sessions for community members.

McComb/Bruchs Performing Arts Center

From bluegrass and country to big band orchestras and acoustic quartets, the McComb/Bruchs Performing Arts Center hosts a variety of music and dance programs each season from September through May. The 2017-18 season showcases national and international acts including Firefall, Terry Barber, The Cowsills and Ball in the House.

077-WAU-Silver-Cryst-Boris

Selfie Spot: Boris the Bull

Strike a pose with Boris the Bull, the giant bull statue outside Silvercryst Supper Club. It’s been a local landmark and the restaurant’s calling card since it was added in the 1960s.

 

Up next: a dining to-do list

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