BY JEFF POTTS
Spring is in the air and that means April will provide plenty of options to experience and explore Oshkosh – Wisconsin’s Event City.
This month we’ve got wine and candy, the Easter Bunny and exercise, theater and music and a couple of great opportunity to support our community.
April means it’s time for the annual Boys & Girls Club fundraiser known as Winefeast. On Saturday, April 5, head to the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. for a night of fine wine and great food. Your $75 admission price includes unlimited samples of wine from around the world and a selection of food from area restaurants. Winefeast starts at 7 p.m. For an extra special experience, consider attending Cellar Select. Tickets are $125 per person and include a full meal and some of the most sought after wines available. Cellar Select opens its doors at 4 p.m. for a champagne reception with the program starting at 5 p.m. For complete details, call the Boys & Girls Club at (920) 233-1414.
If you’re just in the mood to sample some great Wisconsin-made wines head to the only vineyard in Winnebago County: Vines and Rushes, 410 County Road E. On April 5, they’ll host musician Josh Calhoun for a free concert. The cellar concert series runs from 2 to 5 p.m. and features discounted glasses of wine, Sprecher root beer on tap and specialty cheese, chocolate and popcorn for purchase. Vines & Rushes is also open for tastings and tours throughout the week. Check out their hours and schedule of special events at www.VinesandRushes.com.
Eye candy” will be the focal point of the April Gallery walk in downtown Oshkosh as PEEPS, those brightly colored bird-shaped candies from our childhood, are transformed into pieces of art.
Gallery Walk visitors are tasked with selecting the PEEPles choice winner by voting for their favorite display. There’s no cost to participate, simply visit galleries in downtown, cast your vote, and one lucky voter will even win a gift basket. Ballots are available at participating stores. For a Gallery Walk map, visit www.OshkoshGalleryWalk.com.
Presented in part by the Downtown Oshkosh Business Improvement marketing consortium, the PEEPS displays are a way to interject a little extra excitement into the monthly Gallery Walk series. In the coming months they’ll be showcasing new and unique artists endeavors including a six-piece traveling mariachi band (Cinco de Mayo celebration) in May and a chalk walk in August where artists will leave their mark on our concrete pathways throughout downtown.
If your sweet tooth is more interested in fictional candy, the Time Community Theater, 445 N. Main St., has your golden ticket on April 12 as part of their Saturdays @ 7 budget film series. “Willy Wonka” will be the featured film. Admission is $3. On April 26, they’ll screen “The Breakfast Club.” For a full schedule of films in the series check out their Facebook Page or go to www.VisitOshkosh.com.
The Easter Bunny is making his travel plans to visit Event City this month.
On April 12, the Oshkosh Seniors Center, 200 N. Campbell Road, will host Breakfast with the Bunny from 8 to 11 a.m. Enjoy a pancake breakfast and bring your camera for a great holiday photo opportunity. There will also be family activities and raffles. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children. This is a fundraiser for Zoo and Senior Center activities and programs.
Later that day, the Easter Bunny will head to the Menominee Park Zoo for a fun filled Easter celebration. There will be an egg hunt, crafts and games, contests and prizes. Admission is $3 per child.
Those big floppy ears will make one last appearance in Event City on Saturday, April 19 for the Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt at The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh, 3001 S. Washburn St. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can meet the Easter Bunny and get a professional photo taken. There will be a scavenger hunt for the kids and parents will have a chance to win a $100 shopping spree.
The spring 2014 Oshkosh Music Artist Series returns to the candle-lit Algoma Club on Saturday, April 19 at 6 p.m. Featuring Dorothy Zerbe, The Guilty Wanted and Copper Box, this night of music is held in support of elementary school music programming in our local K-5 schools. One hundred percent of ticket sales are donated to elementary music teachers to help their students explore the power of music. Tickets are $12 at the door.
April is also a chance to get a little exercise as the Oshkosh Half Marathon returns on Sunday, April 13. The fun actually starts on Saturday with registration and an expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. There will also be a Lionharted Kid’s Run starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Leach Amphitheater, 303 Ceape Ave., on Saturday. The Half Marathon begins at the Convention Center at 7 a.m. on Sunday and ends at the Leach. For information or to register, visit www.dutrirun.com.
Finally, start making plans to rock out on the shores of the Fox River at the Leach Amphitheater this summer. Waterfest has announced a number of performers for their 2014 season and, surprisingly, not all are booked for their traditional Thursday night gig. Instead, Waterfest has added a Friday and Saturday night.
Announced shows include Los Lonely Boys and Copper Box on June 26, the “Under the Sun Tour” featuring Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker on July 17, the Gin Blossoms on Friday, July 25, Ted Nugent on Saturday, July 26 and Hairball on August 21.
To stay up to date on everything happening in Oshkosh got to www.VisitOshkosh.com, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. ν
Jeff Potts is the marketing director for the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official destination marketing organization for Oshkosh and Winnebago County.