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Waupaca home to a musical treasure

If you like fun music that’s played exceptionally well, you don’t have to travel very far to get a robust and regular dose of it in a family-friendly setting.

The Waupaca City Band has been playing their summer concerts on the square since the 1880s.

And while I’m on the far side of being three-score-and-five, even I’m not old enough to recall that opening season.

But I do remember well the summer band concerts from back in the 1950s, when I was a little farm kid, growing up on our place just south of Lind Center.

Back then, farm families considered Friday nights to be really special, because Main Street Waupaca was a particularly lively place.

That’s when most farm folks came into town to do their weekly business and visit with one another.

And in the summers, the City Band concerts were a vital part of that experience.

Today, of course, Main Street across from the bandstand looks a lot different.

Schultz’s Dime Store and the Campbell Store have disappeared, the pool hall and the barbershop below it are not around anymore, and Harrington’s Shoes and Winch’s Drug Store are long gone.

But the grand tradition of vibrant band concerts is still alive and well and thriving on Main Street on many a summer Friday night.

For the past couple/three decades, the band has been under the direction of Mark Kryshak.

He and the other musicians do a fantastic job of putting on programs that are always lively, memorable and quite often even educational. It’s immensely clear that everybody in the band is having fun making the music, and their enjoyment is positively contagious.

For the past quite-a-few summers, my wife Sue and I have been coming back down to Waupaca on Friday nights to enjoy your city’s musical treasure.

If you live anywhere in the area, you should really check it out – you’ll have a great time.

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