Magic, mystery featured in weekend concert

By Nathan Vine, Stevens Point Journal

STEVENS POINT - The closer we get to spring, the more it seems like there is to do. Here’s our weekly roundup of noteworthy events:

1) “Magic, Mystery, and More!,” Saturday and Sunday

The Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Patrick Miles, will present its third concert of the season, “Magic, Mystery, and More!,” this weekend at the Sentry Theater, 1800 Northpoint Dr.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Narrated by Lawrence Leviton, co-principal cellist of the CWSO and a professor of cello at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the concert will feature the popular theme of music in film. He will also serve a dual role as solo cellist, performing the world premiere of “Noir: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra,” written by Charlie Barnett.

Other selections on the program include music from the films “Sea Hawk,” “Apollo 13,” Star Wars,” “The Dark Knight,” and selections of film music by Rachel Portman.

The concert will also present the conducting debut of State Rep. Katrina Shankland, winner of the "So You Think You Can Conduct contest,” who will lead the orchestra in a surprise work.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $10 students with a college ID, plus $2 handling charge on each ticket. Student rush tickets will be available for UW-Stevens Point and Mid-State students with an ID at the Sunday concert beginning 15 minutes prior to the start of the performance for $7. The box office is located inside the Smith Scarabocchio Art Museum, 800 Main St. For more information call 715-345-7726 or visit

2) Comedy at UW-Stevens Point, Thursday

A performace with comedian Chinedu Unaka, featuring UW-Stevens Point student Josh Hanyard, will start at 8 p.m. on Thursday at The Encore, 1015 Reserve St., on the UW-Stevens Point campus. Admission is $5, or free with a UW-Stevens Point ID.

3) Origami and a movie, Friday

The Plover branch of the Portage County Public Library, 2151 Roosevelt Dr., will host an origami and movie event from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

Kubo tells stories with his magic origami in the movie "Kubo and the Two Strings." Participants can watch the movie while learning or sharing their paper-crafting skills.

4) Standing Rocks downhill skiing, Friday

The downhill ski area at Standing Rocks Park, 7695 Standing Rocks Rd., will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday as a result of some area schools not being in session. The area remains open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The downhill area is scheduled to close for the season on March 12. For more information contact Standing Rocks Park at 715-824-3949 or the Portage County Parks Department at 715-346-1433.

5) Bird Songs of the Backyard, Saturday

A Bird Songs of the Backyard seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday at Jay-Mar, 2130 Jay-Mar Road in Plover.

This seminar will be conducted by Steve Peznick, Mosquito Hill Nature Center, who will teach you to identify birds by their songs and calls. You will learn to key in on vocalizations certain birds make in the spring along with catchy, comical and entertaining phrases to identify birds and their calls.

This seminar is free, but seating is limited. Please register by calling 715-341-3445 or sending a note to

6) Pop Up sale, Saturday

Antique Up, 3256 Church St., will host a one-day pop up sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Vendors for Perfectly Posh, LulaRoe, Sentsy, Pampered Chef and more will be on hand. 7) Top Hat’s co-ed dart tournament, Saturday

Top Hat Bar, 1346 3rd St., will host its annual co-ed dart tournament on Saturday. Registration is at noon, tournament starts at 1 p.m.

Format for the tournament is Cricket/501. Race to 3 for winners, race to 2 for consolation. Cost is $20 per team, free food for players. Teams are asked to pre-register with a bartender before Saturday.

8) February Fender Bender, Saturday

Point Area Bicycle Service, 1311 Strongs Ave., will host a February Fender Bender from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

The event is intended as a fun winter ride for those who are not afraid of February. The ride, for 21 years old and up, is at your own risk and people are asked to dress appropriately.

9) Poet at UW-Stevens Point, Saturday

G Yamazawa, a spoken word poet, will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday at The Encore on the UW-Stevens Point campus. Admission is $5, or free with a UW-Stevens Point ID.

Yamazawa is one of the top spoken word poets in the country. He is a National Poetry Slam champion, Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, and Southern Fried Champion.

10) Winter Wonder Country Dance, Saturday

The Winter Wonder Country Dance will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Lettie Jensen Community Center, 487 N Main Street in Amherst.

 The event will feature contra, line, circle, and square dances with a spattering of polka and waltzes. John Wilson will be the caller, backed up by a live band. No experience necessary, dress casually. Refreshments will be available. Cost is $7 for adults, children under 12 years old are free.

11) Bowl for Kids' Sake, Friday and Saturday

Bowl for Kids' Sake will be held Friday and Saturday at Skipp's Bowling Center, 2300 Strongs Ave.

The event, with a theme this year of "Totally 80's," is the largest fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage County. Teams are asked to raise at least $75 for adults, $30 for youths and students, and $375 for a team.

To register for an available shift, please visit or call 715-341-0661.

12) Love Story 2017 Wedding Expo, Sunday

The Love Story 2017 Wedding Expo will be held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, 1001 Amber Ave.

The sixth annual event will feature more than 75 local vendors to help with a variety of wedding planning items from flowers to cake. Admission is $5, grooms and children 10 years old and under get in free.

13) Ponczka Bingo Party, Sunday

A Ponczka Bingo Party will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 7375 Church Street in Custer. A bake sale and cherry tree will be offered at the event, while food and refreshments will be available for purchase.

14) Cosmic Colors, Sunday

Cosmic Colors, a show at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Allen F. Blocher Planetarium, will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Free and open to the public, the show explores the many reasons for color, from why the sky is blue to why Mars is red. Take a tour within a plant leaf and inside the human eye, then investigate X-rays and the colors of dinosaurs.

15) Soul Food Dinner, Sunday

The 24th annual Soul Food Dinner will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday in the Laird Room at the Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St.

The menu will include southern foods such as fried chicken, cornbread, greens, macaroni and cheese and cobbler. This year’s guest speaker is David Banner, a rapper, actor and community activist. Banner has performed with rapper Kamikaze in Crooked Lettaz, then as a solo artist with the debut album “Them Firewater Boyz Vol. 1.” He has performed in several films, including “Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming” and “The Experiment.” He won the Visionary Award in 2006 from the National Black Caucus and is known for his community support in Mississippi and Louisiana.

 The TIFU Cultural Ensemble, a dance group from UW-Whitewater, will also perform.

Tickets are $15.50 for adults and $10.50 for UW-Stevens Point students and children ages 12 years old and up. Children 11 and younger are free. Tickets may be purchased at the University Information and Tickets office in the concourse of the Dreyfus Center.

16) MLK celebration, Monday

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day community celebration will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday at Stevens Point Area Senior High School, 1201 Northpoint Dr. The event is sponsored by local donations from individuals and organizations.

The speaker for this year's event is Stuart Stotts, an award-winning singer, author, and storyteller. He has written numerous books including "We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World" and "Father Groppi: Civil Rights Leader," which have each been donated to all junior and senior high schools, and public libraries in Portage County. The title of his address is “Singing for Our Lives: The Role of Music in Civil Rights Work”.

Along with Mr. Stotts, the Pacelli Concert Choir will be performing.

17) Wisconsin’s military and civilian medals, Monday

Fred Borgmann will give a presentation on Wisconsin medals at 7 p.m. on Monday just after the regular monthly meeting of the Iola Historical Society at the Machine Shed, 222 Depot St. The presentation is free, goodwill donations will be accepted.

A longtime collector of military memorabilia and former Krause Publications price guide cataloger, Borgmann is the author of “Wisconsin’s Military & Civil Medals & Decorations” and “Wisconsin Military & Civil Medals.” He will use the books for a presentation on the history of Wisconsin medals from the 1850s to 2013, medal terminology, the different types of medals bestowed upon military personnel and citizens, and a visual “tour” of Wisconsin’s state and local medals.

Free copies of “Wisconsin’s Military & Civil Medals & Decorations,” will be available to those interested in learning more about the subject.

18) Dan Dieterich of Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Monday

As part of the Portage County Ice Age Trail annual meeting, the public is invited to a talk by Dan Dieterich of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the Portage County Library, 1001 Main St., on the causes of climate change and its impact on Wisconsin.

19) Local Food Fair planning meetings, Thursday and Tuesday

Initial planning meetings for the 2018 Local Food Fair will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Tuesday at Central Rivers Farmshed, 1220 Briggs Ct.

The two meetings will focus on brainstorming, from ways to improve the event to possible new components to encouraging regional attendance.

 The event, which was cancelled this year, will return on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 at SentryWorld. For more information on the 2018 Local Food Fair, such as becoming a sponsor or committee member, please contact Jackie Mather at or 715-544-6154.

20) UW-Stevens Point Symphony Orchestra, Wednesday

“American Rhythms” will be performed by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Michelsen Hall of the Noel Fine Arts Center.

The concert will include “Overture to Candide” by Leonard Bernstein, Four Dance Episodes from “Rodeo” by Aaron Copland and “Mojave” by Michael Torke. New faculty member Brian Baldauff, an assistant professor of percussion, will play the marimba for the last piece. The Symphony Orchestra is directed by Andy Moran, assistant professor of horn.