Splash: What did the snowbirds miss? Music, mayhem and, uh, snow

Doo-wop group the Alley Cats decked the halls of Green Lake schools in December. The cool cats were one of the fun acts snowbirds missed this winter in Green Lake. Maic D’Agostino photo

by Maic D’Agostino

Welcome back to Green Laker Country, snowbirds!

As you can see, the snow is gone — ta-da!

(Just don’t ask anyone what happened around April 15, OK? The less you know, the better.)

And while arriving after the snowmen had packed their bags probably was your plan, I have news for you:

You missed some other cool stuff, too.

From the changing of fall leaves through the piles of winter snow to the first dig into the spring earth, Green Lake offers year-round fun for those who stay around its shores.

Everyone knows about ice fishing and ice sailing, and Big Green Lake is a bona fide gem for such winter activities.

But I’m talking about a lot more than that (and some of it, mercifully, is indoors).

As summer and the Green Laker’s publication schedule wrapped up, Harvest Fest was about to descend on Green Lake.

Although the festival is meant to herald the coming of crisper days, this year’s September highlight was warm enough for shorts, swimming and spray bottles of cool mist.

Just ask the Green Lake School’s band members, who marched down Mill Street in full uniform.

If you stick around for the annual event this year, you’ll get to witness its 30th anniversary.

Shortly after last year’s Harvest Fest, the city celebrated the birth of a new outdoor party, this one dedicated to philanthropy and goodwill.

Green Lake residents Mike and Jill Havey threw the first-ever Green Lake Community Street Bash to raise funds for and show love to local non-profit organizations.

The Haveys had so much fun they’ll invite the area to another bash Sept. 1 of this year.

Once the cold really set in, plenty of activities, events and fun were had, from Ripon’s Dickens of a Christmas to Green Lake’s Breakfast with Santa.

And if tossing snowballs or sledding hills didn’t jive with locals, we had ample opportunity to warm up with music at Thrasher Opera House, bingo at Town Square or at the many programs hosted by our excellent local libraries.

Local students got into the act, too, from taking a mass selfie with the Alley Cats inside the Green Lake school gym to taking Thrasher’s stage in a joint Ripon and Green Lake concert featuring professional musicians, vocal performances and jazz tunes.

Once the weather thawed — and it did take a little longer than we’d like to admit — Green Lake Renewal hosted its first-ever Green Lake Entrepreneur of the Year Awards to celebrate local business owners.

The Renewal organization already has had a busy spring, as those returning to the city will notice construction machinery tearing up the ground north of Town Square.

That former parking lot will be Green Lake’s new Mill Pond Terrace, which will offer space for everything from food trucks to outdoor markets.

So while you snowbirds may have missed some fun while you followed the sun, the summer has lots to offer.

Read all about the summer happenings in this space when you pick up the next issue of the Green Laker.