Millapalooza Sat Sept 8th




By Terry Bailey



Mill-A-Pa-Loo-Za. Now that is a word you do not hear every day in downtown Beloit. Well, sure, these days you hear it a lot. That was after Julia Rabe and her group of dedicated volunteers went to work and created the first-ever Millapalooza in downtown Beloit.


The Millapalooza is an all-day affair with something for everyone in downtown Beloit on Saturday, September 8 The action will be centered on and around Mill Street.


We wanted to create an activity that would draw folks to downtown Beloit. In years past, downtown was the central part of life in small towns but it isn’t that way anymore,” said Julia Rabe, Chamber of Commerce director. “We hope to attract people downtown and have them stay awhile and meet people and maybe make some new friends.”


When asked how many people she was expecting at the affair Rabe responded, “Lots and lots of people. Lots and lots of people having fun downtown.”


The day’s activities will kick off early with a 15 mile bike race sponsored by the Wellness Center. The route will follow the West Main blacktop west until it meets with the Tipton blacktop and then east back to town. Kid’s bike races and other activities are will be held in the Chautauqua Park.


The car show has been revived with over 45 classic entries to date. The cars will be lined up on Mill Street for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Rabe credits major sponsors which made the car show possible as American Ag and Auto, KVSV, Finn-Cool, Gray Drug and Fountain, and Budweiser. A number of prizes will be awarded in several categories.


A Kid’s Pit Stop will take place on East Main Street between Mill and Hersey. A variety of family centered games and activities will take place throughout the day. This offers an opportunity for families, young and old, to share time together.


A flea market will be available on West Court Street with venders catering to all tastes. Speaking of tastes, food vendors will be showcasing their offerings at the corner of Mill and Court Streets. Rabe has coxed a blacksmith to set up his forge downtown. He will not be shoeing horses but he will be creating works of art with metal.


Catrina Wilson will be supervising a sidewalk chalk art challenge on East Court Street which should yield interesting results.


To go along with the first-ever Millapalooza, a first-ever wine walk is planned along Mill Street. Registration is at Down Under. The Wine Walk will include eight stops: two for beer, two for water, and four for wine.


These and many other activities are planned with the day culminating at 7:00 p.m. with a street dance in front of Kettle with music provided by the Soul Preachers.


Rabe credits local exercise enthusiast Chad Lorenz with planting the seed that got things rolling. Lorenz participates in bike races near and far and inquired about Beloit hosting a bike race. A bike race and then a party. One idea gave birth to another and the Millapalooza was born.


The specifics of the activities and their location can be found on the Chamber Facebook page. Additionally you may call the Chamber office at 738-2717 for additional information. Posters highlighting the activities can be found in virtually every business in Beloit.


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