Civic groups rally to fill in for Fish Day this weekend

Port organizations to host Fish-tival in place of traditional event that was canceled
Ozaukee Press staff

There may not be Fish Day this Saturday, but Port Washington will have reason to celebrate as five of the civic organizations that offered food and beverages during the city’s largest festival will be serving up an abbreviated version of the celebration.

The Community Summer Fish-tival will be held in Veterans Memorial Park Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17.

Like Fish Day, the festival will feature live music and plenty of food and beverages.

On Friday, Midlife Oasis will play modern and classic rock, pop and country from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. while on Saturday Windy Hope will perform from noon to 2 p.m., Michael Hecker from 2 to 4 p.m. and headline Left on Sunset from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The grounds will open about 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.

Dave Mueller, a Port Lions Club member who helped organize the festival, said when Fish Day was canceled due to the pandemic early this year, it was a blow to the service clubs’ bottom line.

And that, he noted, affects the entire community since these organizations use the proceeds from their Fish Day stands to fund projects that benefit everyone.

The Lions Club originally thought about hosting a beer garden the night before Fish Day, aka Fish-mas Eve, but then came up with the idea of hosting a two-day event combining Fish Day and Fish-mas Eve.

“We understand why Fish Day was canceled, but we wanted to give the community something to enjoy,” Mueller said. “We haven’t had a festival here in a long time.”

And since all the civic organizations that host food tents at Fish Day are affected by the decision to cancel that festival, the Lions Club decided to invite the other groups to take part in the Community Summer Fish-tival, he said.

Not all the groups took them up on the offer, but many did. In addition to the Lions Club, Be3, the Port Yacht Club, Rotary Club and St. John XXIII Men’s Club will participate in the festival.

The Belgium Lions Club will also offer its waffles and root beer floats, and a T-shirt trailer will be on the grounds as well.

All the groups, Mueller said, are part of the traditional Fish Day festivities.

And while the menu will include such offerings as brats, burgers, chicken strips and hot dogs, it will also include the fish and chips that Fish Day is known for — at the same price Fish Day charges, Mueller said.

There will be a large food and beer tent set up just west of the bandshell, where the bands will play, as well as a tent outside the Yacht Club where food and beverages will also be sold.

In addition, Inventors BrewPub will host its corn fest this weekend, selling corn dogs and corn on the cob.

But there won’t be any food trucks or new vendors, Mueller said.

“We’re trying to keep it what would have been Fish Day,” he said.

Mueller noted that organizers are trying to involve the local community as much as possible. Wines will be offered from Vines to Cellar, as well as Lovino Sangria, which is owned by Port’s Jennifer Clearwater, and some of the wines imported from Luxembourg by Ansay International, a sponsor of the festival.

Youth groups are being encouraged to collect the cans and recycle them during the festival, he added.

“If there’s something community-minded, we’re all for it,” Mueller said.

People are invited to bring lawn chairs to the park so they can relax and listen to the music or mingle and chat with their neighbors.

“I expect Friday night to be an absolutely fun get-together, and Saturday too,” Mueller said. “We just want people to come down, enjoy the lakefront and have fun, to realize the city is back open.”

There won’t be any parking allowed on Lake Street, Mueller said, adding that bike racks and porta-potties will be set up in the parking spaces there.

Mueller said the organizations are encouraging people to ride their bikes to the festival and motorists to park at the Ozaukee County Administration Center and walk to the event, perhaps stopping at a local tavern to watch the end of the Bucks playoff game on their way home.


Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login