April 05, 2009

Welcome to the City of Menasha….

The river is the heart of Menasha, and in 1882 Harper’s Monthly noted its virtues:

“The Fox, a deep and mighty river, which flows with arrow-like rapidity past Doty Island, moving the extensive mills and factories … where now is the roar of machinery, the flash of a thousand lights, and all the sights and sounds of a busy city”

Today the river continues to be the center of Menasha’s downtown, parks, neighborhoods, and redevelopment efforts.

Our downtown continues to see an incredible revival. Whether coming via boat to our downtown marina, by bike across the Trestle Trail, or the more traditional car you’re sure to capture the charm. Restaurants, unique shopping, art, and nightlife, dot Main Street with new businesses opening and room for entrepreneurs to start their dream. A Thursday evening farm fresh market has proved popular and is preparing to expand in 2009. Just off Main Street is Menasha’s Elisha D. Smith Public Library, Wisconsin’s 2008 library of the year, with programs beyond books drawing people from across the Fox Cities.

Our park system dots our neighborhoods with cooling green oases and events throughout the year. It all starts at Smith Park in February with snow sculpting and the Frozen Flamingo Golf Tournament. Everyone loves a parade, and Curtis Reed Square is the perfect place to watch the Community Fest lighted parade the evening of July 3rd. Jefferson Park is home to Jazz Fest, Labor Day weekend, and Seafood Fest following a week or so later. Creepy Crawlies abound at the Heckrodt Wetland Reserve for Halloween, and the year closes out with a Holiday Hayride in Smith Park.

Historically Menasha’s neighborhoods were defined by the immigrant settlers in each. Today what you’ll notice most is the friendly people and small town charm. Neighbors here continue to gather together for good causes, including raising over $47,000 for a K-9 unit to improve public safety. Many of the older neighborhoods still have the corner pub and neighborhoods throughout the community have neighborhood parties. You’re sure to get a friendly hello as you wander down most any street in the city.

Menasha is also home to the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley, Barlow Planetarium, Weis Earth Science Museum, Tayco Street Bridge Museum, Soo Line Caboose, and the Isle of Valor. Our schools offer one of the most expansive foreign language programs in the state, teaching German, Japanese, and Spanish beginning in grade school.

The future of our riverfront holds much promise for Menasha. An abandoned paper mill is on track to become one of the premier neighborhoods in the Fox Valley. A riverfront walking loop, fishing piers, and boating opportunities abound along with acres of new riverfront access to the public. The opening of the Fox River Locks will once again make the Menasha canal the gateway to Appleton and beyond to Green Bay. Redevelopment of the Trestle Trail became the centerpiece for biking & walking in the Fox Valley with connections to the Wiouwash trail and soon to High Cliff.
Opportunities will continue to emerge as the true beauty of the river is recognized.

Come enjoy the events, atmosphere, and sights of Menasha, a progressive community with much to see and do.
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