BURNETT COUNTY -- In the midst of the 2020 pandemic summer and what seemed like never-ending lock-downs, a few creative Siren folks got together to brainstorm -- “What can we do that’s outdoors, conforms to CDC Coronavirus safety guidelines, is fun for adults and kids and will attract customers to our downtown?”

Their answer: “Siren Open Air Thursdays” (SOAT) -- a whole day of outdoor activities throughout the Village of Siren concluding with a familiar summer tradition: Music in the Park. Local businesses around town participated with outdoor offerings or joined in the Open Air Market at Crooked Lake Park where regional artists and crafters displayed and sold their works.

With creative marketing and many hours put in by volunteers from organizations like Moms For Kids, SOAT 2020 was a resounding success. Over the three-month period, scores of locals and tourists enjoyed the opportunity to be outdoors, be entertained and shop safely with social distancing and sanitizer stations. Organizers say they heard much positive feedback from visitors who said they “were so happy that someone had such a good idea!”

Last year’s success is in the rear-view mirror, and the SOAT committee has completed plans for SOAT 2021 which includes the weekly Open Air Market, organized by the local non-profit Moms For Kids as part of SOAT, a campaign of the Siren Chamber of Commerce. Admission and parking are free and open to the public.

The Market is every Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m., opening June 3 with a new feature: “enrichment” programs presented by local organizations or individuals such as members of the Webster Orange 4-H who will create sand art on opening day.

In addition to the Market, Siren stores and restaurants will offer Thursday specials throughout the summer. And there are many area recreational activities including golf, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, tennis, skateboarding and miniature golf as well as outdoor dining at many local restaurants.

Open Air Market spaces are still available to artisans, crafters, independent consultants, and Siren businesses under the pavilions on the north end of Crooked Lark Park. Patrons will shop from booths around the outside of the pavilions as well as canopies, all with safe distancing. There are opportunities for other local agencies and organizations to stage demonstrations, games or other programs that are enriching experiences for all ages.

For additional information, visit Facebook Siren Wisconsin. Vendor spaces and open time for enrichment programs are still available, email momsforkidswi@gmail.com for information and applications.

Siren area businesses are encouraged to join the promotion by hosting Open Air Thursday activities, contact Karen syrengen@sirentel.net.      


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