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Christmas At Badger Park, Peshtigo July 25-27

Christmas is coming! Santa will visit Badger Park in Peshtigo as part of the campground’s increasingly popular annual “Christmas in July” event this weekend, July 25, 26 and 27.

Parks and Recreation Director David Zahn told the committee the campground will be nearly full for the event, and 14 of the sites are reserved by campers who are coming specifically for the event.

Parks and Recreation Department crews will be decorating the park on Wednesday and Thursday, July 23 and 24. Decorations will include the large star that used to be on the Badger Paper Mill building.

Campers will compete for the best decorated individual campsites. Jenny Tonn has volunteered to work on crafts with kids, making Christmas ornaments on Saturday, July 26, in preparation for Santa’s visit at 6:30 p.m. that day. There will be cookies (compliments of Tonn), candy canes (thanks to Mayor Cathi Malke) and ice cream cones for kids and adults alike. At about 8 p.m. groups will be caroling through the park.

Zahn asked committee members to help judge campsite decorations. Prizes will be in the form of free campsite nights.

Gift bags filled with things like candies, cookies, free restaurant coupons, and promotional items from Badger Credit Union will be distributed.

In a totally separate activity, North Country Kickers will have use of the large pavilion all day on Saturday.

Zahn said you don’t need to be a camper to join in the fun. Kids from the city are invited to come to the park to see Santa and share the fun.

Committee members were eager to offer help and suggestions and share memories from last year. Zahn asked that anyone wanting to donate Christmas decorations for the event be prepared to take them home again afterward, as his storage space is limited.

Zahn reported the Girls’ Softball League donated a new scoreboard for field four because the old one didn’t work properly. He received three requests for the old one, one from an individual who wanted it for his “man cave,” one from County Line Little League, and one from Lee Mylener, who would like to put it in his store.

Zahn said Mylener told him if County Line feels they can get the scoreboard to work, they should have it, since their organization is a good feeder program for Peshtigo Youth Baseball.

Alderman Brigitte Schmidt, who chairs the Parks and Rec committee, said her first choice too would be to give it to Mylener, since he is a generous sponsor of many city projects, but based on his recommendation, agreed it should go to the Little League at County Line. The old sign is hard wired, while new ones now are remote control.

Alderman Mike Behnke felt Peshtigo Youth baseball (PYB) should have first dibbs, since Peshtigo Little League bought it in the first place. Zahn pointed out the Little League no longer exists, and PYB abandoned the sign when they switched fields. Alderman Mary Lock felt Mylener works very closely with PYB and would know if they had a problem with plans for the sign.

Lock suggested recommending to Council that the sign be donated to County Line Little League “as is”, but Behnke felt they had to sell it for $1, so that was the motion. Committee members Deb Sievert, Schmidt and Behnke all voted in favor.

The committee spent a great deal of time fine tuning the wording on the naming rights documents for the ball fields, and finally agreed without dissent to have Attorney Dave Spangenberg look them over again with the changes they suggested, and forward them to Council for approval in August.

Zahn reported seven youngsters participated in the soccer program, and six were involved with fishing lessons given by himself. He said one is still afraid of worms, but all caught a fish last week, and all received fishing rods from Trout Unlimited.

Zahn said he is a little disappointed with turnout for the arts and crafts classes, which has two groups of four each. He is not sure it is cost effective.

Ann Bartels had seven youngsters in a class on aquatic bugs and insects.

There are six 3-year-olds in T-Ball, and 18 in the 4-year-old group that will run through the second week in August. There was only one team interested in an Old Timers League, and Behnke suggested he work with the City of Marinette to get some competition.

There have been nine weeks of softball competition and no rainouts yet, Zahn reported happily.

When school starts he is looking at flag football, winter basketball and co-ed volleyball, as well as men’s open basketball. Also on afternoon card parties at the Senior Center, with pinochle offered as one of the games. He also is looking at having exercise classes for older folks at the Drees Community Center.

Zahn reported Marinette Youth Baseball had asked to send a couple of teams to practice at Peshtigo during their upcoming tournament. Malke said she wanted to work with Marinette in the past, but when Peshtigo wanted to use one of their fields for a weekend, “they wanted $500.” Zahn explained there will be no need to prepare the field for the use Marinette has requested. Others on the committee felt families coming with their youngsters for the practices will eat and buy other things, so the decision was to allow the use.

Zahn reported a group from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church had offered to send 30 people to spend an entire morning working on a project in Badger Park. They want to reseal and re-stain Badger Boardwalk, he said. To questions from the committee, Zahn said the city reseals the wooden play area every year.

Zahn said he has the “rockers” back out there, but repairing the “diggers” will cost over $500, and he will apply for the funds to the M&M Foundation.

Zahn reported receiving an e-mail from a person who had rented one of the Badger Park cabins. He complained that his parking spot was taken over, and said the “neighbors” had kept him up until 3 a.m. He wanted his money back.

To questions from committee members, Zahn said the park has a “quiet hour” policy from 11 p.m. The individual had not officially registered a complaint with either the campground host or Peshtigo Police. Behnke said one problem is that the cabins are built too close together. He said there were a number of friends and relatives visiting the occupants of the other cabin, and their cars may have been parked in the way. The committee decided they can give no refund, since there was no official complaint, but they will consider some actions that may prevent future problems of this sort.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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