Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Happy Thanksgiving! Are you looking for something to do after the traditional dinner is finished?

~ Come to Downtown Monroe on Friday evening for the annual Lighted Holiday Parade. The parade kicks off from the middle school starting at 6 pm. This year's theme is "Frosty and Friends". Many of the entrants will be creative in their use of lighting, and generators are donated for use by PDC.

~ New Glarus lights the Community Holiday Tree this Friday evening at 6:30. Come downtown for all the festivities and join your neighbors to see the magic of the lights.

~ Turner Hall is the setting for the local Christkindlmarkt. This old world holiday shopping event has its roots in the markets dating back to 1432 in Germany. Stop by the Grand Hall between 9 am and 4 pm either Friday or Saturday. There will be a variety of fiber and fabric arts pieces, candles, soaps, floral arrangements, decorations, Scherenschnitte, Kerbschnitte, Holzschnitte (traditional Swiss-German crafts) along with a European cafe and Swiss baked goods.

~ Come to Flannery's William Tell restaurant in New Glarus this Saturday to enjoy live music by Amber Skies starting at 8:30. Amber Skies plays everything from americana to rock. Amber Skies is a popular local band with roots in Belleville.

~ Coffee house night in Freeport! Higher Grounds is hosting a Turkey Jam. Enjoy great music from Aaron Whalen, Nate Yeske and Dustin Hyatt, and Anneliese Schrader. Admission is $5 which includes a $1 coupon. This is our favorite Freeport coffee shop, and a very comfortable place to spend time.

~ Stopy by the Monroe Middle School this Saturday for "Shop for the Cure." Sponsored by the Green County Relay for Life, all proceeds from the day go to the American Cancer Society. There will be more than 40 independent local consultants, vendors and crafters offer a wide variety of gift items, making this a great place to work on your holiday shopping. The day will also include door prizes, raffles, baked goods, and a light lunch.

~ The Family Movie at Lindo Theater in Freeport this Saturday morning will be Planet 51. Bring the kids for a fun movie experience. $5 per person, and the kids will receive a holiday gift.

~ Stop by the Monroe Arts Center to view the items for this year's Silent Auction. This annual event supports all the great programming at MAC. There is usually everything from Dr Najat's honey to framed art pieces, special event dinners in your home to gift cards to local businesses. There is always something for everyone and every price range.

~ The Mighty Richland Players Dinner Theater will present A Christmas Madrigal: Handel and Gretzky" on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This laughter filled show will feature songs and comedy from the Renaissance era. Bring your appetite as dinner will be an English groaning board (roast beef dinner). $40 per person, call 815-819-1310 for ticket information.

~ Pick up your tickets for the upcoming Festival of Trees or performance of A Christmas Carol. The deadline for tickets for Festival of Trees is Monday at 10 am; contact Pam at the Chamber to reserve yours (3257648). A Christmas Carol will be performed by the Monroe Theatre Guild the second and third weekends in December. This year, all children under 12 are free with an adult ticket thanks to the generosity of Scrooge (aka John Bauman).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Local Money

Have you heard of Monroe Money or Monticello Money?

Both of these area communities have special programs where area residents can purchase certificates to be spent at any one of a number of local businesses. Monroe Money may be purchased at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and can be spent at any Chamber of Commerce member business.

Monticello has Monticello Money, and the certificates can be spent at any of the Monticello Business and Professional Association members. Monticello Money may be purchased at the Bank of Monticello's Main Street location or at the Village Hall.

Monticello is doing a special Black Friday promotion to encourage people to shop locally this holiday season. Monticello Money will be 10% off on Friday, November 27.

Monticello Money or Monroe Money also make great gifts in and of themselves. Both can spend these at any member businesses. With lists of members that include hair salon, grocery stores, bowling alleys, repair centers, gift shops and much, much more, there will be myriad options for the lucky recipients.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit Extended

President Obama has signed the extension of the First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit. This is exciting news because this bill also expanded the parameters of the Tax Credit, allowing for larger income maximums of the people receiving the credit. Move Up Buyers are also considered in this tax credit. People who have lived in and owned their primary residence for at least 5 years are now eligble for a Move Up Credit of $6500. Here are all the details as explained by the CEO of Coldwell Banker, Jim Gillespie.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Another weekend is closing in. Have you made your plans yet?

~ The Young Professionals of Green County are busy in the upcoming week. This evening, come to a Business Showcase at Country View Equestrian Center on Clarno Road from 6 until 7:30 pm. Get together again on Monday evening for a Trip to Italy Wine Tasting event at Vince's Pizza. The business showcase is free; the wine tasting has a choice of an appetizer, entree or both along with the wine tasting for $9.99 to $18.99 depending on your choice. Both events are helping out the Monroe Women's Club, so bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the toy drive if you are able.

~ Farmer's Market enthusiast! The first Winter Market is this weekend in the lower level of Das Baumhaus on the South side of Monroe's Downtown Square. Stock up on root vegetables, jams and jellies, baked goods and more. If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, it will be easier than ever to serve some local foods thanks to the new Winter Market. There will be two more winter markets this year: December 19 and January 16. Free coffee and punch.

~ Bring the kids to the Tree Trimming party at the Monroe Public Library this Saturday from 11 am until 3 pm. Make an ornament or five in Santa's Workshop, enjoy a story in the Story Corner at 11:30, 12:30 or 1:30, and stop in the Cookie Corner Cafe to refuel. Grown up elves, cookie donations are welcome!

~ Do some more of your holiday shopping at the Brooklyn Arts and Crafts Festival. This Saturday from 9 am until 4 pm, browse the vendors at the Brooklyn Community Center and find the perfect home-crafted gifts.

~ Lindo Theater in Freeport has a Family Holiday Movie series this November and December. This weekend's movie is A Chipmunk Christmas: 3 Alvin and the Chipmunks Holiday Featurettes starting at 10 am. This movie is free!

~ Stone Ring is playing at the Monroe Arts Center this Saturday evening. There is still time to purchase a ticket or two and enjoy an evening of wonderful music in the Gunderson-Stiles Concert Hall.

~ Famous Fossil Winery hosts another of their weekend movie events. This weekend focuses on not becoming a wine snob. Watch the movie "Enjoying Wine" and learn about how to relax and have fun with wine.

Festival of Trees

Help out four local non-profit groups while having a good meal and entertaining evening. Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn't it?

The annual Festival of Trees is coming up quickly. This event is scheduled for December 5 this year. The silent and live auctions are always great fun, and all proceeds will benefit either Monroe Theatre Guild Stage Right Youth Theatre, Green County Humane Society, Green Haven Family Advocates or Green County Habitat for Humanity.

Entertainment this year will be provided by the Monroe Theatre Guild Stage Right Youth Choir. Forty members of the youth choir will perform a variety of songs at 7:30 with the live auction following their performance.

The evening takes place at Peppercorn Banquets and Catering starting at 6 for cocktails and 7 for dinner. Contact any of the charities to purchase tickets (and this way your favorite gets a little more of the proceeds) or contact the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $40 for the evening, and they include the entertainment as well as the dinner (chose from prime rib, rosemary chicken, butternut squash ravioli or stuffed mushroom ravioli).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

So, what is going on in the upcoming days?

~ Monroe Arts Center is auditioning local talent tonight and Saturday morning for this season's Showcase of Talent. Come to MAC tonight after 6:30 or Saturday between 9 am and noon.

~ Come see the newly completed Downtown Square in Monroe this weekend and join in the festivities as the Downtown businesses celebrate with an Open House event all weekend. Enter to win one of four gift baskets valued at up to $1000.

~ If this gorgeous weather holds, it will be a perfect weekend to get outside and enjoy a fall hike at one of the local state parks. New Glarus Woods, Cadiz Springs, Yellowstone Park, Donald Park just north of New Glarus, all have miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate. Get the bike out for one last ride on the Badger State Trail or Sugar River Trail.

~ Live music is at Toffler's in New Glarus this weekend. Enjoy an evening out with soloist Mark Harrod.

~ Remember to sign the little kids up for Monroe Theatre Guild's music and movement classes this Saturday. It is exciting to see them start offering classes for the younger set, and these should be fantastic. Full scholarships are available; contact Suzanne for more information.

~ The International Lantern Festival in Freeport this Saturday is an event to help promote cultural understanding and diversity. This celebration of hospitality, diversity and charity will feature local choirs, children's cultural activities, decoration of a giant community lantern and more. Make your own lantern in advance with directions from the website, or participate in a lantern making event from 5:30 to 6 pm. At 6, join in a parade of lanterns through the park, culminating in the final musical performance about 7 pm. Donations for the food pantry are appreciated.

~ Saturday evening, bring your favorite dish to the Broken Barn in Orangeville for Recipe Swap 2009. Make a dish from scratch, bring copies of the recipe, and come share. There will be judging and the top 3 dishes win a prize. This event is to benefit the local food pantry, and admission is 3 non-perishable food items per person. Please do RSVP so that they can plan enough seating and utensils; contact information is on their website.

~ If you enjoy the Badger State Trail, consider joining the Friends of the Badger State Trail. Their annual meeting is this coming week, November 18, at 6 pm at the DNR offices in Madison on Fish Hatchery Road.

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a commercial building in Monroe.

This is a great investment property with potential for whatever you need. There is over 4400 square feet of commercial space here, or you could take the 2066 square foot second floor and make it your residence with plenty of room in the 2338 square foot main floor for a business. You could also easily convert this spacious stone building into apartments. Elevator to all floors. This property is conveniently located a block off Monroe's beautiful downtown square. New furnace, new water heater and other improvements make this a good buy. Property is being sold as-is.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Upcoming at the MAC

The Monroe Arts Center has some interesting events coming up.

Father Klarer will be speaking at MAC tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon in Welsley Hall for a free brown bag lunch event. The focus will be Victorian England, Charles Dickens, the script for Monroe Theatre Guild's upcoming performance of "A Christmas Carol," and the writing process Fr Klarer went through when adapting the story for the stage. Fr Klarer gifted MTG with an original adaptation for this holiday classic, and it will be performed for the first time this December by MTG. Follow along Fr Klarer's blog for all the backstage information on the performance and how it is coming together.

While you are at MAC for Fr Klarer's talk or to view the newest exhibit in Frehner gallery, which I highly recommend as it is fabulous, be sure to pick up some tickets to see StoneRing in concert in Gunderson Stiles Concert Hall at MAC on November 21. We've had the pleasure of listening to this Madison-area Celtic band in an intimate setting before, and they are simply wonderful. The four member band plays classic acoustical instruments and sings a variety of Celtic songs from ballads to rebel songs. Tickets are $22 and $17 for members, $25 and $20 for non-members.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Joining the "Go local, go independent" movement

Frequent readers know that we are strong supporter of locally owned, independent businesses. We are joining their ranks.

Towne Square Realty has always been locally owned, but we've been part of the Re/Max family for a while now. Our company decided to return to our roots and go independent again as of this month.

This move gives our company more flexibility to serve our clients to the best of our abilities. We still advertise our properties in all of the same venues and all of the same website (including the Re/Max site and all of the other major franchise sites thanks to the wonders of internet data exchange).

Go local, go independent!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

~ There is an opening reception for the new exhibit in Frehner Gallery at the Monroe Arts Center on Thursday evening. "Looking In, Looking Out" is an exhibit by Lake Mills artists Karen Ragus and Leslie DeMuth. The show features artists working within a contrast of styles, a contrast of inspiration, and a contrast of imagery, but with a shared passion for color, mood and personal expression. The reception is from 5 until 7 pm, with a talk by the artists starting at 5:30 pm.

~ Did you get the kids enrolled for Monroe Theatre Guild's Stage Right Youth Theatre workshops this weekend? There is still time to enroll, so call Suzanne as soon as possible. There are two workshops for kids ages 7 and up this weekend, and two for kids ages 4 through 7 next weekend.

~ UW Extension is offering a free webinar for local farmers this Friday from 8 until 10 am in the new Justice Center. The topic will be on dealing with issues in the fall harvest, weighting the pros and cons of letting the crops dry naturally in the fields at the risk of potential mold development versus harvesting earlier and dealing with the costs of mechanically drying. Pre-registration is requested; call Mike Mayer at 328-9440.

~ Famous Fossil Winery is having Wine Movies and Cheesecake on Fridays and Saturdays this November and December. Enjoy a free wine-themed movie, pick up a slice of homemade Famous Fossil Cheesecake, and enjoy an evening out. This weekend's movie will be A Good Year; next week's is The Secret of Santa Vittoria.

~ Baumgartner's has live music this Saturday evening. Glen Davis will be playing blues starting at 8 pm. It should be a great event. Stop by Baumgartner's tonight for their Wednesday night Baby Back Ribs special!

~ Get some of your holiday shopping completed this weekend at the Brodhead Jaycees Arts and Crafts fair. Browse the many vendors all day on Saturday at the high school. Food will be available on site as well.

~ You can eat pancakes all day long in Freeport on Saturday. The United Methodist Church is having a pancake breakfast, and the Silvercreek Museum is having a pancake supper.

~ Monroe Arts Center hosts the final Sunday concert for fall on Sunday. Chicago pianist Mark Valenti will perform a series of works by Schubert, Stravinsky, and Debussy starting at 2 pm. Tickets are free for MAC members, $10 for the general public and will be available at the door.

~ Edler Glass Studio in Cedarville has their annual open house on Saturday and Sunday from 10 until 4. Watch the art of glass blowing, view the exhibit pieces and browse for something special to take home.

~ Small business owners, make plans to attend a workshop on financing options at Blackhawk Technical College Monroe's campus on Tuesday evening. The subject of the workshop will be Financing Opportunities for Small Business. Learn the myths and truths about small business loans, grants, financing and more. The cost is $10 and pre-registration is required. Call 342-1038 to register.

~ The Young Professionals of Green County are hosting a socializing and networking Happy Hour at Flanagan's Shenanigans on Tuesday, November 10 starting at 5:30 pm. Free snacks, drinks specials. The YPs are doing a Toy Drive for the Monroe Women's Club in conjunction with this event, so please bring a new, unwrapped toy if you are able.

~ Register for Chef Stef Culberson's Gifts from the Kitchen workshop at Goosechaser Farm next week. This popular class will be offered three times this year, twice at the farm and once at Kookaburra's in Monroe. Each participant will take home four wrapped and packaged gifts, all ready for giving.

~ Next Wednesday, November 11, MAC is auditioning local talent for the Annual Showcase of Talent Variety Show starting at 6:30. Groups or individuals, singing, dancing, instrumental music, comedy and more are all welcome. A second day of auditions is scheduled for Saturday morning, November 11.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Austrialian Wine Dinner

The Dining Room at 209 Main in Monticello is having an Australian wine dinner next week, November 12. The dinner will feature speaker Rebecca Loewy from Old Bridge Cellars, and there will be a custom menu for the evening.

Guests will enjoy the following:
  • Procuitto wrapped shrimp with antipasto relish with Kilikanoon Mort's Block Riesling '08, Clare Valley,
  • Smoked gouda tartlett with crispy shallots d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne '08, McLaren Vale,
  • 5 spice & galanga pork wontons with shiitake mushroom glaze with d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache '06, McLaren Vale,
  • Lamb loin with herbed root vegetable gratin and red wine jus with Penley Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon '07, Coonawarra,
  • Braised beef shortribs with balsamic tomato reduction sauce, pancetta,and garlic mashed red potatoes with John Duval Plexus Shiraz - Grenache - Mouvedre '06, Barossa,
  • Honey sabayon with fresh berries & ginger orange shortbread with Chambers Muscat NV, Rutherglen
Reservation are strongly encouraged as seating is limited to only 40 guests. To make your reservation, please call The Dining Room at 209 Main at 608-938-2200. The cost is $70.00 plus 5.5% tax and 20 % gratuity per person, payable at the time of reservation.

This will be a great evening to learn a little more about Australian wines while enjoying the superb food an ambiance of The Dining Room.