2014 Thursday Night On Main

Concert lineup includes expanded Family Night and Comedy Night!

Five Thursday nights of concerts in downtown plus a new Comedy Night at the historic Iola Mills are on tap this summer for area residents’ enjoyment. Sponsored by the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce, Thursday Night On Main concerts include a 50-50 raffle, door prize drawings, Italian gelato from the Millstone at Iola Mills, and “Food Fare” from the famous Crystal Café.

The concerts start at 6:00 p.m. until shortly after 8:00 p.m. and are free, although the audience is encourage to contribute via the 50-50 raffle ($1 per ticket, six for $5). The concerts are held on Main Street in the parking lot of the retail strip located across the street from the Crystal Café. Bring your lawnchairs or a blanket! In case of rain, the concerts will be held at Iola Mills.

Three of the four bands are new to Thursday Night on Main, with the popular Dekorra coming back for their fourth year. The new bands include the eclectic and electric Punch N Pie, the jazzy Stella Novas, and blues crunchers Rev. Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys.

Family Night (July 31), cosponsored by Ministry Health Care, includes the always entertaining (for kids of all ages!) Tom Pease and Bill Kehl, back by popular demand. In addition, Ministry Health Care and the Chamber will be raffling off two bicycles. Each child in attendance will receive a raffle ticket, and the winners will be fitted for bikes at Adventure Outfitters in Waupaca.  

New this year is a Corks & Comedy night August 21 --  a winetasting event with wines from Lil Ole of Wausau and an hour of comedy from Comedy City Performers of Appleton. This event will be held at the newly renovated Iola Mills, and audience members must be 21 to attend.  

Here is the 2014 Thursday Night On Main lineup:

July 17: Punch N Pie – Alternative, blues, groove funk

July 24: Stella Novas – Café jazz

July 31: Family Night cosponsored by Ministry Health Care – Tom Pease (interactive singalong performer) and Bill Kehl (interactive performer with unusual instruments from around the world)


August 7: Dekorra – bluegrass, country, swing and western music

August 14: Rev. Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys – blues

August 21: Cork & Comedy Night at Iola Mills – Lil Ole wine shop winetasting and Comedy City Performers (note: winetasting starts at 6:00 p.m.; comedy act starts at 7:00 p.m.)


5th Annual Taste of Norway & Lost Arts Fair/Fall Gift & Craft Show

The Iola Historical Society is playing up Iola’s Norwegian history again with the 5th Annual Taste of Norway & Lost Arts Fair, held at the Society’s Historic Village and Museum on Depot Street in downtown Iola on Saturday, October 4, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Originally settled by Swiss immigrants who started a lumber mill and grist mill in the mid-1800s, by the late 1800s Norwegian immigrants became the predominant ethnic background of the settlers in the growing village.


Taste of Norway includes demonstrations on Norwegian cooking and samples of pastries.  Lefse making will also be shown. Norwegian food items, including lefse, will be available for sale.


The Lost Arts Fair artisans show off their skills at “lost arts” such as jewelry making, blacksmithing, rug weaving, rosemaling (Norwegian artwork), wool spinning, basketweaving, beekeeping, and other activities. Individuals who have these skills and would be interested in attending the Lost Arts Fair, please contact the Iola Historical Society.


The Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce hosts the 16th Annual Fall Gift And Craft Show, with vendors selling a variety of items including framed artwork, jewelry, candles, candies, clothing and woodwork. Vendors interested in setting up at the show should contact Mary Schwartz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 715-445-4005.


In addition to the event, the Iola Historical Society’s museum and adjacent Historic Village will be open to the public. All proceeds go to the benefit of the Iola Historical Society.


The Iola & Rural Fire Department will also be holding a fire extinguisher check for area homeowners free of charge, to be held at the vintage fire department at the Iola Historical Society.


A community event, local organizations and businesses have come together to build a partnership. In addition to the Iola Historical Society and Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce, others involved include the Iola Lions, Sons Of Norway, Northland Lutheran Church. A Taste of Elegance bakery, and the Crystal Café.