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Arts on the Square Saturday

Jessie Fritsch creates encaustic paintings using molten beeswax, powdered pigments and resin. Submitted Photo

Waupaca hosts lively, colorful activities

Three live-music stages, 40 juried fine-arts-and-crafts vendors, 10 art workshops, four art demonstrations, three dance performances and seven food trucks with a beer/wine tent.

Arts on the Square will bring a full day of activities to Waupaca from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.

Hosted by the Waupaca Community Arts Board, the free annual event showcases professional artists and musical performers from throughout the state and beyond, filling the streets and areas surrounding downtown Waupaca’s City Square.


The festival’s Juried Fine Arts and Crafts Show features local and national artists, including ceramics, photography, painting, jewelry, encaustic painting, woodworking and more.

WCAB’s Art Show Jury and Judge Joye Moon will presenting four Awards of Excellence, the Parry Vaux Award and Best in Show at noon.

Waupaca’s pop-up Phantom Art Gallery will be featured this year, in Loot Vintage & Supply, 219 Jefferson St., offering the works of area artists for viewing and for sale.

Main Tent

The Arts on the Square Main Tent Stage opens two acts geared toward families – the Aber Suzuki Center Student performance, 10-11 a.m., and long-time, interactive children’s performer, Tom Pease from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

In the afternoon, Gin, Chocolate & Bottle Rockets take the stage from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., with their blend of tight three-part harmonies and pop-rock songwriting.

Solo artist Amelia Ford appears from 1:45-3 p.m., mixing her soft soprano with raw grit as she performs more than 50 original alternative folk-rock songs.

From 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., The aTOMix Band from Wisconsin Rapids will fill the dance floor as they showcase their rocking three-part harmonies on hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Jazz Stage

Arts on the Square also offers an indoor Jazz Stage at Union Street Emporium, 110 E. Union St., featuring two separate performances in the afternoon.

Daddio, a contemporary improvisational music group that plays jazz with the drive of rock and funk, performs from noon to 1:45 p.m.

Janet Planet, Wisconsin’s own, “voice of the new jazz culture with seemingly limitless expression,” according to Jazziz Magazine, takes the Jazz State from 2-4 p.m.


Vibhas Kendzia will perform Native American music on a Native American flute, 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., in the City Square Bandstand, as well as strolling throughout the venue.

From 12:30-3 p.m., Robin McDumphy will perform her live-loop violin expressions, using her octave pedal magic combined with looping layers to create the sound of a full orchestra.

Waupaca artist Jim Lang has been a long-time participant in Arts on the Square. Submitted Photo

Workshops, Demonstrations

Free drop-in, interactive art workshops for all ages occur throughout the day in the Workshop Tent.

Workshops include dot painting, face painting, paper marbling, paper airplanes. soap carving, rock painting, “Shine” catchers, the Woven Together community art project, handsewn sachets, and Dungeons & Dragons character creation.

All-day demonstrations by professional artists will include glass blowing by Brady Looker, Aquatic Koi Painting by Ben Nendza, and Encaustic Painting by Ashley Ellis.

Dance Tent

Three local groups will perform in the Dance Tent throughout the day.

Waupaca’s Senior Center is bringing their Cardio Drumming squad for a high-energy 10-10:45 a.m. performance.

The Waupaca High School Varsity Dance Team performs 11-11:45 p.m.

Center for Living Well owner, Tammie Jo Berg, is offering a Tai Chi demonstration where audience members are encouraged to join in for healthful fun.

Food Trucks, Beverages

Seven food trucks will form a food court next to the Beverage Tent.

Food trucks attending the event are Aftershock Smokers, Diablo’s, Street Grub, Hmong Eggrolls, Cottontail Cotton Candy, Java Jive, and Moo’s Ice Cream.

The Beverage Tent will include beer and wine for sale this year, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

For more details, go to WCAB’s website – Arts on the Square Schedule 2023.

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