"Small towns in Wisconsin are special places."
Photos by Megan Monday
Joy | Mineral Point, WI
"Small towns in Wisconsin are special places. They thrive when the community has opportunities to get together, and Mineral Point really knows how to bring people out for the winter holidays.
The first big thing is always our December gallery night. All the shops open their doors with candlelight, and we line our downtown with about 400 white paper bag luminaries. The whole street is lined in candlelight. This year, there were groups of carolers out on the street serenading the people who came out. Many shops have goodies laid out for people, and we have real evergreen garland on almost all of the buildings and lampposts. We even roast chestnuts over an open fire, on the corner of Chestnut and High street. I know, it's almost too cute. This year we added S’mores to the mix. So it's just an absolutely gorgeous evening. People are in a good mood, and it's just a really magical night."
"Mineral Point is really a town of artisans, so much of what you can find here you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The first working artists came here in the 1940s. In the '70s, it kind of exploded. There are people who came in then who are still here, and there are new artists who join us all the time so it's a really creative way of life. And all our historic mid-century buildings—and I'm talking mid-1800s, not 1900s—are so well-preserved that they add quite a bit of charm, too.
Speaking of the arts and our winter festivities, we have a local ballet group, the Southwest Academy of Ballet Arts. They do this whole big production of The Nutcracker at the opera house, and so much of the cast are our local kids.
You've got grandmas, aunts, and uncles of all walks of life from all over that come to see it. It’s really sweet.
The opera house will also have holiday concerts with our local musicians. We have several toy drives and food drives around this time of year. I’ve been here 16 years now, and really, it’s a great small town. It’s quite the place to be."
-Joy | Mineral Point, WI