Fun & Interesting Activities at the Cheese Capital

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The Murals of Plymouth

Mural Tour Mural Map

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Click HERE to view and download the Mural Map pdf

Click HERE to view and download the PAC Mural: The History of Sargento

Click HERE to view "The Original Cheese Capital of the World and Why"

Click HERE to view "The WallDogs Rock the Cheese Capital"!

Lovely, Historic Downtown, Plymouth, WI

Photos courtesy of Ken Pannier Photography

Cheese Capital of the World Plymouth celebrates heritage, future with historic designation Saturated in history and rich in originality, the city of Plymouth, Wisconsin is a cut above the average charming little Midwestern town. In fact, it has something no other city can offer: the distinction of being the Cheese Capital of the World. The city has secured that official designation from the state, said Administrator Brian Yerges, and a variety of projects are planned to build up the city’s identity under that mantle. Decades ago, Yerges said, Plymouth heralded its strengths with highway billboards and special events dedicated to celebrating its reputation as the cheese capital of the world, but over time that focus slipped away. “We had the Cheese Derby Day parade, a huge parade with bands from all over the country,” Yerges said. “In the late 1970s and early ’80s … those events disappeared. We’re resurrecting some of those events, resurrecting the idea of being cheese capital of the world.” The biggest effort is the renovation of a historic 1875 cream-city brick building in the heart of downtown and turning it into a combination interactive historical tour of Plymouth’s cheesemaking past and cheese shop that carries all the best products created at local cheese companies. “In terms of product that comes through our community, we take more cheese to market than any other area,” Yerges said. “Fifteen to 18 percent of the cheese that’s consumed in the United States comes through Plymouth and/or our local cheese companies.” Other projects, including the beautification and enlargement of Stayer Park and the re-building of the historic Huson Water Tower, will only contribute to the overall goal, said Plymouth Redevelopment Authority Chairman Lee Gentine. In its quest to adopt the cheese capital name, Plymouth is focusing on striking a balance between two vital priorities: attracting tourists and shoppers to the community and creating a solid community for businesses to thrive. “I think one of the most interesting things in downtown is every store is proprietary from the standpoint that they’re individually owned,” Gentine said. “They’re not corporate stores, they’re not chain stores.” Although about 50 percent of new businesses fail in their first five years nationwide, Plymouth’s eclectic shops have a much longer lifespan. “I think the difference is that when they’re in larger geographies they don’t stand out,” Gentine said. “In Plymouth, they certainly will stand out. The bottom line is that I think a business coming into Plymouth probably has a better chance to survive because we offer incentives.” In addition, Yerges said, the community is uncommonly protective of its local businesses. “People always talk about Plymouth as being like a Mayberry and I think it’s true,” Yerges said. “People who live here are extremely dedicated to each other, extremely supportive of each other and the business community, the downtown retail shops and coffee shops.” Mary Hauser, Executive Director of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said the long-established efforts to attract both visitors and residents to Plymouth will now have a common theme. With boast-worthy amenities like a first-class school district, an outdoor historic mural driving tour, an aquatic center and skiing and snowshoeing centers – in addition to the lineup of unique retail options – Plymouth has plenty to offer everyone, she said. “Our visitors guide, which used to be just for tourism, will now be a Visitors and Resident Guide,” Hauser said. It will include all the standard information tourists want, including hotel, dining and recreation options, as well as information about the city’s unique history, its school district and residency information. “I think if we can latch onto this cheese capital theme, we can really make Plymouth a destination,” she said. “The cheese capital is part of who we are. That is our history.” Downtown Business Manager Randy Schwoerer said that as the city entities are working together to build on that identity, the real personality of Plymouth comes through. “What is Plymouth?” Schwoerer said. “It’s the cheese capital of the world. Why? Because of the product that goes through the community, because of jobs in that business, jobs in related industries. There are very few cities that have such a dominant strength in an industry and still have the genuine warmth that is Plymouth.”

The Little Free Libraries

The Plymouth Arts Center's artist...
Therese Randall won first prize!

About the Artist Therese Randall of Glenbeulah was born and raised in WI, growing up "between the lakes" Michigan and Winnebago. She was instilled with a great love and respect for nature at an early age. She works in a variety of media, oil being her favorite. She also does decorative painting in homes when time permits. She accepts some commission work, but prefers to paint the subjects which inspire her in the moment. Randall won the Great Lakes Salmon & Trout Stamp design contest in 1986, and she has been a runner-up or finalist in several other competitions. She is a great supporter of several area conservation groups which use her artwork for fundraising. She enjoys gardening and observing wildlife at her home in the Kettle Moraine which she shares with husband, Scott, and her yellow lab, Faith.

Therese Randall and Janice Curtiss-GFWC Plymouth Women's Club

Artist Therese Randall graciously painted the Plymouth Arts Center's little library and she won the FIRST PLACE AWARD presented by G.F.W.C. president Janice Curtiss (left) at the 100th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the Amore Banquet Hall in Plymouth. The PAC's little library was placed in our lovely front gardens and is open for business! The PAC sincerely thanks Therese for sharing her amazing talent and congratulates the Woman's Club.

Repinted from an article in the Plymouth Review May 15, 2014

Little Free Libraries true community builders
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT kinds of communities – and many things that contribute to a The GFWC Plymouth Woman’s Club made a major contribution to Plymouth’s sense of community over the weekend with the unveiling of nearly 30 Little Free Libraries to be located throughout the city. The project was part of the club’s celebration of their 100th anniversary. The Little Free Libraries were decorated in a variety of themes, from whimsical to historical, and will be placed throughout the city. There, anyone can take a book to read and leave some for others to take and read, all for free. The community celebration to unveil the Little Free Libraries included a special guest, Little Free Libraries co-founder Rick Brooks, who was duly impressed by the Woman’s Club’s project and the efforts of all those, young and old, who decorated the structures.“What makes this happen is people like you,” Brooks told the club members and residents. “It’s all about generosity and sharing. “The idea is to promote a sense of community,” Brooks said of the Little Free Libraries program. This effort will be certain to do that. Reading is something that should be encouraged and promoted throughout the community, for young and old alike. The Little Free Libraries are a free – and fun – way to do just that just that, easily and accessibily.

Brooks thanked the Woman’s Club for spearheading the project, then told the crowd, “The best way to show your thanks is by filling these (Little Free Libraries) with books and sharing books.” That’s something we all can – and should – do. If you have a few books left over that didn’t sell at your garage sale, a Little Free Library would be a great place to deposit them. If you’re looking for a quick read on that vacation trip or getaway weekend, a Little Free Library would be a great place to stop and pick one out. Community is sharing, and that kind of sharing is something we can all enjoy and benefit from. Thanks go as well to the GFWC Plymouth Woman’s Club for sharing such an inspired and inspiring anniversary project with the entire community – a community made richer by their effort.

A 2015 Letter from the Executive Director of the Plymouth Arts Center


Time really does fly when you are having fun working in the Arts! As I celebrate 15 years as the Executive Director of the Plymouth Arts Center, I continue to be in awe of the many talented artists that have performed on our stage and have exhibited their art in our gallery. These artists, actors, musicians, dancers, writers, designers, and more are part of what makes the Plymouth area an attractive and vibrant place to live. I am grateful for the relationships we have built with our faithful audiences and our generous sponsors, and cordially invite “you” to visit the Plymouth Arts Center!

A brief history of the PAC….Twenty-two years ago, the idea to establish an arts center in Plymouth, WI became a reality through the dedication of a handful of interested volunteers lead by the director of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. After two years of research and fundraising, this grassroots group supported by community residents, businesses and foundations, gathered together to create the PAC. Organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit, we are supported through private and corporate donations, grants, sponsorships, membership dues and through our fundraising events. Originally, our focus was on two-dimensional art in Gallery 110 North, but within two years, theater performances, music, and art classes were added. Today, we produce over 150 events each year with annual attendance topping 20,000. Our programs offer the community the opportunity to get involved either on the stage or behind the scenes. We also enjoy partnering with other performing arts groups such as Youth Theatre Company, and host events for fellow SPA members, Sound Celebration, Theatre for Young Audiences, and other non-profit groups. Additionally, our facility is available to rent for private gatherings, including business meetings.

We are perfectly located at the busy corner of Eastern Avenue, Mill and North Streets in downtown Plymouth in a stunning, newly remodeled, historical building (originally H.W. Motor Sales & Service.) The Plymouth Arts Center has proven its commitment to entertainment experiences of almost every variety throughout the year. Summertime…. we become an oasis for cool music on warm Friday evenings as we present “Mill Street Live” eight Fridays in July and August. Now in our seventh season, this high energy song and dance musical revue features 12 members of the Mill Street Guild and is regarded as one of the most entertaining shows in the area. You’ll be rockin’ in your seats! The PAC’s unique event and annual fundraiser, “The Cheese Capital Jazz Crawl for the Arts” is also presented on a Friday night. This year’s event will be held Friday, August 14th. When the first PGA golf event came to town, we decided to enhance an already scheduled art show opening by adding a little jazz music; well,……actually six live jazz bands. The event was a huge success attracting thousands of people between the hours of 4pm and midnight. Twelve years later, the PGA is back in town, and Jazz Crawl #12 is on track with 11 live bands, (headlined by Warren Wiegratz/Streetlife) at the PAC and downtown clubs and restaurants! Why the “Cheese Capital” Jazz Crawl? The event is generously sponsored by the five major cheese companies in town, and this year (2015)…Plymouth, WI has officially claimed its title as the “Cheese Capital of the World!” Keeping with the “Cheese” theme, don’t forget about our annual “Big Cheese Drop” and New Year’s Eve party. We have garnered national attention for this exclusive event.

Come visit, attend our performances, visit our gallery and gift shop, take a class or workshop, or just come to relax on our veranda with a glass of wine from our ‘Art Rock Café’ Feel the vibrancy that is the Plymouth Arts Center... Hope to see you soon!

Plymouth Arts Center’s MISSION: “To enliven the spirit of our community and to enrich the lives of all by providing diverse experiences in the arts” has led to our approach of constantly developing new experiences in the arts.

Donna Hahn, Executive Director
Plymouth Arts Center, 520 East Mill Street, Plymouth, WI 53073 ~ (920) 892-8409

PAC Award

And from the PAST...

Historic Plymouth Historic Plymouth

2017 Major Sponsors