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Music in the Park - Manitowish Waters
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 1:15pm
Music in the Park - Manitowish Waters

Manitowish Waters – Music in the Park

Manitowish Waters Music in the ParkFor five years now Koller Park in downtown Manitowish Waters has been the home to Music in the Park. This weekly event is held every Sunday throughout the summer from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM. They are proud to host a wide variety of musical styles, while trying to provide entertainment that will be enjoyable to everyone. The styles include country, rock, folk, and even a polka band.

Music in the park was founded in 2007 by Barry and Lisa Hopkins, owner of the Pea Patch Saloon in Manitowish Waters, WI. The first year it consisted of just six bands over six Sundays. It was quickly obvious that this was an event that would be embraced by the community, when without asking, donations were offered to support the event. In 2008 an independent board was established to run and organize Music in the Park. The board, who are still responsible for the event, consists of founder Barry Hopkins, as well as David Gouwens, owner of Calm Water Solutions, and Terry Mueller. 

Music In the ParkThere have been many changes over the years. The first year the band simply performed on the top of a small hill facing Rest Lake. In 2008 a small stage was built, and later expanded, to give the bands a proper place to perform. Many of the bands have stated that this is their favorite venue to play. You cannot beat the view of the lake and the community atmosphere. The number of concerts has also grown over the years. In 2008 they were increased to 9 and then to 12 by 2012. Now with the planning of the 2013 season they will likely be increased to run from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The event has become a staple for the community and has inspired other similar community events. Many of the local town members attend every week. Music in the Park has been responsible for rekindling many old friendships as well as repairing others. It is not just the locals though that attends Music in the Park. Many tourists have made it a regular stop, and many have postponed their departure times to attend. The first year the crowd was almost completely locals, now it is not uncommon for there to well over 100 people and as many as 65 boats.

At each concert food is sold by a local nonprofit organization. These groups include the North Lakeland 8th grade class, North Lakeland Youth Hockey Association and MW Skiing Skeeters. The funds raised by the North Lakeland 8th grade class go to their annual class trip. This past year they were able to extend their planned trip.

Music in the ParkTwo concerts each year are hosted by local groups, the MW Fire Company and the MW Snow Skeeters. At both of these events the food is provided free of charge by the groups as a thank you for the community's support.

The board of Music in the Park is adamant that the event stay a non profit event. Music in the Park is solely funded by donation. For the last few years the Board is proud to say they have not even had to ask for donations. Up until and including the 2012 season, the sponsors have had their names placed on a banner at the park and their names read during the concert by the band. All of the funds donated to the Music in the Park organization are used to support the event. They are used mostly to pay for the bands, but have also been used to make upgrades to the stage and park as need to provide a suitable area for the concert. None of the members of the board are compensated in any way.

The board of Music in the Park would like to thank all of those who have sponsored Music in the Park over the years, the Town and it’s crew for maintaining Koller Park, and of course to Betty Koller for donating the Park.

Music in the Park board is already preparing for the 2013 season and they have already started to book bands. For updated schedule and sponsorship information please visit their website We hope to see you all here next season.

Submitted by: Northwoods Today
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