Fitness group antes up for a stage in Port beer garden

A toast was made at Port Washington's popular beer garden in Upper Lake Park, which this year will have a stage for bands thanks to the Be3 fitness and networking group. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington beer garden will get a new amenity this summer — a stage for the bands that perform during the events  — courtesy of Be3, a local fitness and networking group for women.

It’s the latest improvement for the beer garden, which began five years ago and has grown every year.

And as the event has grown, significant improvements have been made to the area, adding such amenities as an archway, paths and improved restrooms.

The stage is an amenity that’s needed, Recreation Director Kiley Schulte said, noting bands would often set up in the beer garden pavilion.

“Sometimes you would be boomed out of there,” she said. “It would be too loud to sit and enjoy the music.”

The stage, she said, will help rectify that situation and complement the other structures in the area.

The stage will not only benefit the beer gardens, she said, but also other events in the park.

“It would be a beautiful place for weddings, family picnics and other events,” Schulte said.

The Plan Commission last month approved a site plan for the stage, which will be built south and east of the brick restrooms at the garden in Upper Lake Park.

The open-air bandshell will be built of wood with ledgestone accents, and a storage area for the beer gardens will be incorporated into the design, said Bob Poull, the retired longtime Parks and Recreation Department foreman who designed the beer garden pavilion.

The stage can be rented by other groups when not in use at the beer gardens, he said.

Cedar seating that will be incorporated into the bandshell could make it a beautiful spot for weddings, Poull said.

The stage will be financed by Be3, a fitness group that has donated a significant amount of money raised through its Land Regatta walk and run to various community causes over the past five years.

They include more than $19,500 toward projects in Coal Dock Park, $13,500 for Possibility Playground and $15,000 for the Interurban Trail.

Additional funding may be sought from the Port Washington Lion’s Club, which paid for the beer garden pavilion, according to the project proposal submitted by Be3. 

Commission members were enthused about the project.

“The beer garden has grown significantly in popularity and the bands have limited room,” Ald. Mike Ehrlich, a member of the commission, said. “It’s a nice looking stage. This is a really nice addition.”

Commission member Tony Matera concurred, saying, “The space you’ve chosen is perfect. This is a great addition to the beer garden.”

According to the project proposal, fundraising for the stage will begin immediately with construction slated for this summer. If fundraising lags, construction could be delayed until next year.

The beer garden is scheduled to run on Saturdays from July 6 through Oct. 19, except on Fish Day, and the Land Regatta will be held on Aug. 17.


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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.

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