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Portage Area Chamber of Commerce
December 2021
Our Portage Holiday Season Has Officially Begun!
The Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting and Meet Santa's Reindeer events that took place last weekend officially brought the Holiday Season to Portage!

Scores of people turned out in downtown to watch the parade - with more than 30 entries - make their way down Cook Street. Following the parade, Santa lit the tree at Commerce Plaza with the help of our Portage Fire Department. This year, the plaza has been decked out with more than 10,000 lights for you to enjoy.

On Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Claus took some time out of their very busy schedule to greet families and pose for photos at Commerce Plaza. Families gathered around to see Santa's reindeer and sleigh before the big package delivery in a few weeks.

Thank you to everyone for being involved and helping to bring all these wonderful holiday activities to our Portage community. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you!
Cookie Walk
The Portage Chamber is holding the Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 4 from 9am to Noon. Cookie boxes remain available for sale. Don't wait! Get yours ahead of the Cookie Walk! Boxes are available for just $5.

People who purchase a cookie box will also receive a map featuring locations of the participating Chamber member businesses and promotions they are offering. A record number of locations, 31 to be exact, are participating this year.
Fill Santa's Truck for River Haven
St. Mary's Community Outreach Committee invites everyone to 'Fill Santa's Truck' with cleaning supplies and other items for the River Haven Homeless Shelter this holiday season. Bring your items to donate or simply drive-thru by the St. Mary School Conant Street Gym Entrance on Saturday, December 4 from 9am to Noon, during the Cookie Walk. Santa will be there to help spread holiday cheer!

Items needed:
  • Pots, pans, plates/dishes-new or gently used
  • Pine Sol, Laundry Detergent, Dish soap
  • Trash bags, Mops/brooms, Can openers-many
  • Canned meals-ravioli, chili, soups, etc.
  • Pillows-standard size
Chili Fundraiser at the Portage Curling club
All are welcome to come enjoy this Chili Fundraiser benefiting Brett & Michael Johnson at the Portage Curling Club on Thursday, December 2 from 5pm to 8pm. The USA Paralympic Curling team will be at this event, open for all community members to come enjoy.

The fundraiser is being held for Brett and Michael Johnson, two brothers diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder, Fanconi Anemia. For more information about this event, click here. The Portage Curling Club is located at 106 West Albert Street.
Opening Reception for Local Artist Showcase
Oils, watercolor, photography, pottery, fiber arts and more are on display during the Local Artist Showcase, a community exhibition of extraordinary local talent. The Opening Reception is Friday, December 3 from 4pm to 6pm at The Drury Gallery inside Portage Center for the Arts

The exhibit is free and runs through December 30. For more information, call
Portage Center for the Arts at 608-742-5655.

Winter Serenade featuring Shelly Pare, Sam Clemmons & Friends at PCA
Get ready for this fun musical gathering by the community, for the community! Make plans to attend Winter Serenade featuring Shelly Pare, Sam Clemmons & Friends at Portage Center for the Arts on Sunday, December 5 from 4pm to 5pm.

A fun musical gathering by the community, for the community! All proceeds support programming at Portage Center for the Arts & The Boys and Girls Club-Portage!
Reserved seating is $20 for adults, $10 for students. Call or visit the office to reserve your seats, or purchase them online.

The Hillbilly Science Spectacular at PCA
With silly antics, fast-paced action, music, audience participation, and straight-up fun, Dr. Cletus Beaker knows how to deliver an educational science show like no other. See the Hillbilly Science Spectacular at Portage Center for the Arts on Saturday, December 11 from 3pm to 4pm.
Portage Center for the Arts is located at 301 E. Cook Street. For more information, visit or call 608-742-5655.
Photos with Santa at Edgewater Home and Garden
Come say 'Hi' to Santa on Saturday, December 4 from 10am to 1pm at Edgewater Home and Garden. Let him know what you would like for Christmas, enjoy a cup of cocoa and a fresh baked cookie. Don't forget to bring your camera. 

Kid's House Decorating
Decorate your very own Graham House at Edgewater Home and Garden on Saturday, December 4! Just come and have fun! No need to register for this event, stop in anytime between 10am to 2pm, while supplies last.

Paint a Pot Poinsettia Kids Workshop
Edgewater Home and Garden is hosting a Paint a Pot Poinsettia kids workshop on Saturday, December 11 from 10am to 2pm. Cost of this workshop is $10. Includes pot, poinsettia, and paint. Call 608-742-6558 to sign up.

Edgewater Home and Garden is located at 2957 County Highway CX. Visit for more information.
Wholeistic Healing Holiday Open House
Come help celebrate the light of the season during the Wholeistic Healing Wellness Clinic Grand Opening and Open House Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 4 from 9am to 5pm.

Check out the healing center, learn how they can help your family, and shop until you drop from local artisans and vendors. There will be door prizes and giveaways all day. For more information, call Wholeistic Healing Wellness Clinic, 1000 Links Drive, Poynette, at 608-622-3415.
Welcome New Portage Chamber of Commerce Members

FoxArneson, Inc.
5972 Executive Drive, Suite 100 Madison, WI 53719
Carolyn Tretina at 608-381-8326
A regional design-build firm specializing in big-box retail, warehouse/distribution,
office space, and educational construction; creating beautiful functional spaces.    
Holiday Soup Sale & Baked Goods
Chicken Noodle Soup & Beef Barley Soup will be offered in to-go-jars for you to enjoy at the Holiday Soup Sale & Baked Goods at the Portage Presbyterian Church on Saturday, December 4 from 9am to 11am. Various baked goods will also be available to purchase.

The Portage Presbyterian Church is located at 120 W. Pleasant Street. For more information, call 608-742-6006.
Check out the December specials at Spark and Sparkle
Visit Spark and Sparkle for specials during the month of December. On Saturday, December 4 and Saturday, December 11, take 10% off the entire store. On Saturday, December 18, enjoy a Candle Sale with 25% off all in stock candles, wax melts, wax melters and candle holders.

Get your last minute shopping done on Friday, December 24 as the store will be open from 10am to 2pm. Spark and Sparkle is located at 126B West Cook Street in downtown Portage. Call 608-617-4002 for more information.
Elvis and Santa Show at Portage VFW
Come to the VFW for breakfast on Sunday, December 5, which will start at 9am. $8 per person, children under 10 are $5. Enjoy scrambled eggs with sausage gravy and toast or scrambled eggs with sausage links and toast. Choice of coffee or juice included. Cinnamon rolls are $3 each.
The Elvis and Santa Holiday Family Show will run from 1pm to 4pm that day. The Portage VFW Post 1707 is located at 215 W. Collins Street, behind Walgreen's. For more information, call 608-742-5350.
Free Holiday Dinner at Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Come to the Portage Seventh-Day Adventist Church for their free annual Holiday Dinner on Sunday, December 5 from 5:30pm to 7pm. There will be plenty of delicious plant-based food and joyful fellowship!

If possible, please let them know if you will attend to help them know how much to prepare. Call 608-617-8924. Portage Seventh-Day Adventist Church is located at 2100 E. State Road 33.
December Chamber Business Luncheon
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is offering another way to develop more customers and build relationships with your fellow Chamber members and make those important connections that can help you in your business or career. Bring your business cards, brochures, or anything you wish to share with other members at our Business Luncheons.
Luncheon Information
Scott Inman with the Wisconsin DNR will be our speaker to share with us the details of the improvements to the Portage Canal along Segment 2. Dredging was completed this past summer and a new pathway is being added along with the Canal being narrowed in this area. Come learn about the changes and see what the finished area will look like.
Location: American Legion State Headquarters
Time: Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: $10 - pay for your lunch at the door
Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2021

There is limited seating; please RSVP to the Chamber at 608-742-6242. Online Registration is here.
Live Music at the Portage VFW
Come and hear live music at VFW Post #1707, 215 W. Collins Street. Dec 1st and 8th will be the last live music Wednesdays for this year. More events are being planned and will be announced soon. For more information, call 608-742-5350.
Shop with a Cop Fundraiser at Portage Elks Lodge
Support a great cause for the children of our community. Donate to help fund the Shop With A Cop program of Columbia County. Young kids, K-8th grade, are selected each year during the end-of-the-year holiday season to shop at one of the local area stores to purchase gifts for members of their immediate family. Each child is given a small amount of money to spend, normally $75-$125, depending on the size of the child’s immediate family.
Law enforcement personnel escort the children around the store and assist in selecting appropriate gifts for each family member on Saturday, December 11. The children are told and understand that the money is not for personal use and must only be spent on members of their families.
After shopping, the children will eat lunch, wrap their gifts, and continue to get to know the law enforcement personnel. All proceeds go to Shop With A Cop. Donations can be in the form of check made out to: Portage Elks Lodge #675; PO Box 316; Portage, WI 53901.
We will also be taking donations for raffle prizes. Make up your own basket and drop it off at the Portage Elks Lodge, 201 W. Conant Street, or contact Tim Green at to arrange pick up.
Breakfast with Santa at Culver's
Join us for Breakfast with Santa at Culver's in Portage, 2733 New Pinery Road. Breakfast seating will be from 8am to 9am on Saturday, December 11. You should arrive by 8:30am to get your photograph with Santa. Limited seating.
Registration in advance is required for this event. REGISTER HERE. There is no fee for breakfast, but we ask that you bring non-perishable food items for the local food pantry. Bring your own camera.  For more information, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.
December Chamber Meetings and Events
4 Citywide Cookie Walk 9am to Noon
11 Culver's Breakfast with Santa 8am-9am
18 Christmas Stocking Hunt 9am to Noon
Winter is here. Are you ready???
Winter weather has arrived. Prevent slips and falls on snow-covered, icy sidewalks!

If you know you will be needing a driveway and sidewalk snow removal & salt application service this winter, call the Reliable Handyman Service today!

Call Lance for a quote at 608-235-1431. Lance is ready to help you!
Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots
Bring new, unused and unwrapped toys to American Legion Legion Department Headquarters, 2930 American Legion Drive, Monday through Friday, 8am - 4:30pm. Pickup will be on December 21.
Surgeons Quarters restoration update
The Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters has been undergoing a restoration project. The purpose of the project is to, first of all, replace all of the chinking between the logs on the walls of the Surgeons Quarters cabin. The current chinking was during initial restoration efforts after the DAR purchased the cabin in 1939 and before it opened as a museum in 1954.

Recently, the chinking has begun to fracture, which traps water between the logs and increases their rate of decay. Over the course of three years, Laib Restoration, Inc. will remove the old chinking and replace it with a less brittle compound, hopefully enabling it to last even longer than the old chinking did. Work began in April 2021 and is scheduled to end in 2023. The first year of the project, in which Laib Restoration worked on the east and south walls of the cabin, is now complete.

In addition to removing the chinking, Laib Restoration is replacing any sections of the logs that are exhibiting advanced signs of deterioration with new tamarack wood sections. The wood was supplied by the DAR, is cut to size by the workers with machine tools, and then distressed with traditional tools in order to make the new sections resemble the cabin's historical hand-hewn logs. Also, the white vertical boards on the cabin's corners are being removed, as they were not part of the cabin's original 19th century structure, but were added later in the cabin's history.

For more information, please visit the Restoration website page: (
Glow in the Glen
Durward's Glen has a couple events for families to enjoy in December. Come out and drive-thru to view the Christmas lights of the Glen, December 10-12! Enjoy the warmth of the fire-pit (bring your own marshmallows!) and the beauty of winter! Parking is available. Free event; Donations suggested!

Durward's Glen Winter Wonderland
Join the Glen for a magnificent evening of sleigh rides, Christmas lights, hot cocoa, food, Christmas carols, bonfire, arts and crafts to make on Saturday, December 18 from 4pm to 8pm!

Durward's Glen is located at W11876 McLeisch Road in Baraboo. For more information, please call 608-356-8113.
Kiddie Christmas at the Agency House
Join us for our 15th annual Kiddie Christmas event at the Historic Indian Agency House on Saturday, December 11. The outdoor history treasure hunt was so popular last year, it's happening again...but with all new clues and treasures. Bring a bag to collect your goodies.

Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Recommended for children ages 5-12. Drop in any time between 1pm and 3pm. Free event.
The Historic Indian Agency House is located at 1490 Agency House Road. For more information, visit or call 608-742-6362 for more information.
A Historic Holiday Gift Idea
Here is the perfect gift for the history lover in your life! Purchase the Historic Preservation Edition of Wau-Bun and support the Historic Indian Agency House, too.
First published in 1856 by Juliette Kinzie (wife of Fort Winnebago Indian agent John H. Kinzie), Wau-Bun endures as a fascinating and indispensable firsthand account of the 'early day' in the frontier Midwest. The newly-released 2021 Historic Preservation Edition includes more than 65 pages of extra features.
Hardcover: $30; Paperback: $20; eBook: $9.99 (Find online retailers here)
Stop by the gift shop on Saturday, December 11, from 1pm to 3pm or print and mail this order form.
The Historic Preservation Edition is also available for purchase through major online book retailers.
Columbia County ADRC looking for meal drivers
The Columbia County ADRC is looking for volunteer Home Delivered Meal Drivers! There is very flexible scheduling and mileage reimbursement. There are many routes that need your help.

Locations include Portage, Poynette, Lodi, Pardeeville, and Columbus. Please call Dana from the ADRC at 608-742-9207 for more information. Smiling faces welcome!
Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at Portage Center for the Arts to welcome back the return of the Lunch Break Series (formerly Brown Bag Lunches).

These Lunch Break programs are held various Thursdays throughout the year at Portage Center for the Arts and admission is $5 to attend.

For more information, call Portage Center for the Arts at 608-742-5655.
Free Movie at the Portage Public Library
The community is invited to watch a movie in the Bidwell Room at the Portage Public Library on Saturday, December 18 from Noon to 1:30pm.

The movie is open to all ages to watch and popcorn will be provided. The Portage Public Library is located at 253 West Edgewater Street. For more information, call 608-742-4959.
Christmas Stocking Hunt
Santa and his Elves have placed Christmas Stockings throughout our Chamber member businesses for this day only. Can you find them?
Don't take the Christmas Stocking! Once you find a Christmas Stocking record the unique holiday phrase attached to the stocking with the corresponding location on your Christmas Stocking Card. You can pick up your Christmas Stocking Card at the Chamber of Commerce Office prior to starting The Christmas Stocking Hunt. You need to find stockings at a minimum of 6 locations to be included in the prize drawing for various gift certificates that can be used at our Chamber member businesses.
Bring your Christmas Stocking Card back to the Chamber office by 12:30pm on Saturday, December 18, 2021 to be entered to win. More details can be found at our website along with the participating businesses.
Photos with Santa during Stocking Hunt at Prairie Flower Beads
Get your photos with Santa during the Christmas Stocking Hunt from 9am-Noon on Saturday, December 18 at Prairie Flower Beads, 210 W. Cook Street. Bring your own camera.
Santa at the Elks Lodge
Come visit with Santa at the Portage Elks Lodge, 201 W. Conant Street, on Christmas Eve, December 24. Santa will be there from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
Christmas Day Dinner
A drive-thru, free Christmas Day Dinner will be available at Portage Presbyterian Church, 120 W. Pleasant Street, from Noon to 1:30pm on December 25. Come and share in the fellowship and enjoy a home-cooked meal of turkey and all the trimmings and wonderful desserts 

For more information, please call 608-742-6006.
Spread the word about Portage!
Use #portagewi or #portagechamberwi in your social media posts.
Check out the Chamber's YouTube Channel HERE
Want to submit an article for this newsletter?
The Chamber's monthly newsletter deadlines the 20th of the month. Members are always welcome to let others know: about new products and services; introduce new associates or promotions; provide updates about their industry or business; give helpful tips; promote a sale or event. For more information, call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Submit your Events!
Are you planning an event this year? Get it posted on our web community calendar at One of the most popular viewed of the Chamber website pages, the calendar allows you to submit your own events.

Simply click this link and submit your events. If you have questions, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.
Job postings on
Check out these job postings on our Chamber site from our member businesses. You are welcome to post job openings your business may have at any time. Call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 for more information.
Text PORTAGE to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Portage events
Join a Service Club - Meetings subject to change
Rotary - Meets Mondays at Noon at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Lions Club - Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:30pm at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd., summer month meetings change locations
Kiwanis - Meets on Wednesdays at Noon at Pizza Ranch, 2905 New Pinery Rd.
Optimists - Meets on Tuesdays at 7am at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Elks - Meets 2nd & 4th Tuesday at 7pm; 4th Tuesday only during July and August
Women's Civic League - Meets 2nd Wednesdays of the month at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce | 608-742-6242 | |