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Celebrating Summer: Beaver Dam

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2021 at 8:01 PM CDT
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BEAVER DAM, Wis. (WMTV) - There is so much to do and see across southern Wisconsin. That’s why the NBC15 team is heading out each Friday to a new location to celebrate summer as we move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, NBC15′s John Stofflet and Maria Lisignoli took a trip to Tahoe Park in Beaver Dam.

Businesses open back up

One local brewery had to shut its doors a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, but customers kept coming for the beer.

Ooga Brewing built their brewery inside an old service station and it is the only microbrewery in Beaver Dam.

Head brewer Jeff Scanlan said customers came in throughout the pandemic.

“I’m super grateful to the community because they kept us going,” said Scanlan. “We sold crawlers to keep us open out the door, you know, and to go crawlers and we sold to go food for a little while, but people were just interested in keeping us open.”

The business has 10 beers on tap, including the famous Jalapeño Cream Ale. the brewery also gives back to the community through hosting food, clothing and toy drives. They also have worked with Habitat for Humanity.

Best Dam Fest in town

Leah Kutcher, Lake Days Committee President, sat down with John and Maria to talk about the Best Dam Fest. After taking a break from the fest last year during the pandemic, Kutcher said people are ready to attend the event.

“It’s really exciting,” said Kutcher. “There’s a lot of excitement in town, people have been talking about this for months.”

Attendees can listen to live music, visit the carnival and view fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

The fest will go from Thursday through Sunday.

Must-see water-ski team

The Beaverland Must-Skis Waterski Show Team is a non-profit community organization based in Beaver Dam.

The goal of the organization is to promote water skiing through group participation, shows and tournaments. The team puts on shows at 6 p.m. every Sunday night.

Cara Hughes, a member of the team, said its very fun to be a part of.

“It’s very family-oriented,” said Hughes. “We have our youngest here around 5 years old and we have people up until their 40s and 50s, so it’s just fun that everyone can enjoy this sport.”

How Beaver Dam is bouncing back from the pandemic

Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen said the past year had been a challenge, but city residents stepped up and shopped local.

“I’m just really proud of how the community rallied around our businesses in the community,” said Glewen.

Swan Park: A community treasure

The Beaver Dam Parks and Forestry supervisor, John Neuman, says Swan Park is a treasure to him an the people in the area.

”People talk about family reunion, you know, way back,” said Neuman. “30 years ago, so I mean, there’s, there’s a very large amount of value, not just for myself but I sense it from my customers, people and pay my way. There is a special place for them. We like to keep it that way.”

The park has playgrounds, horseshoe courts and a wading pool.

Restaurant creates homemade classics

Since the mid-1960s, Walker’s Restaurant & Bakery has welcomed customers from Park Avenue at Highway 151.

John talked about how it was one of his favorite stops when he would visit relatives, stopping for anything from soup to pies.

Kim Homan said the home cooked food and bakery items are what keep people coming back.

“We still make everything from scratch,” said Homan. “Mashed potatoes—gravy. Staples. We have our dedicated employees that have been here—a lot of them 20, 30, 40 years. People come back year after year to see the employees, get the bake goods and the homemade food.”

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