Downtown Portage Inc put a new spin onto Canal Days this year and the community came out to support! We had the pleasure to be a part of this even for the first year. I can't wait what is in store for the future.
The downtown activities started with the annual Parade featuring floats from local and surrounding area businesses and organizations. We were a bit nervous about the rain but it held off other than a quick 2 minute shower at 11:30AM. The day then continued at Commerce Plaza for a Craft and Antique fair and new Kids' Corner with activities for the whole family like a petting zoo, food truck, brat sales, local heroes from the fire department, inflatable house, slides, obstacle course, and MAHS brought reptiles, yes reptiles! Commerce plaza parking lot was full with smiling families left and right, some shopping, buying food, and others enjoying the activities for kids. As 4:00PM came around and it was time to close up shop the vendors began to bring down their kiosks, many congratulated the team as the event being "the best they've been a part of in a long time in Portage."
However, It didn't stop there! Canal Days Jam was to take place at 5 different venues, Tall Paul's, Pohlk's Pub, Corner Pocket, the Ball Room, and Big Dog's Saloon starting at 8:00PM on Saturday. The Downtown Board decided a few days earlier to make the event free to the public rather than charging cover to gather momentum for years to come. That night, bands began to play as groups of people jumped from bar to bar listening to live music. Next year we are looking to get some big name bands to draw even bigger crowds.
Downtown Portage Inc reached their goal this year to make Canal Days once again a weekend that people look forward to every summer in Portage!