Gurda McGivern on Train (APPLETON, WI)—  The Fox Cities Exhibition Center will welcome area residents and visitors to an “Around the Corner with John McGivern” Preview Party and Premiere Showing on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, hosted by Appleton Downtown Inc.  Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. with the show airing at 7:00 p.m.  Pre-show activities will include a historical fencing exhibit, a strolling magician, and music.  Refreshments will also be available.

“This Premiere will provide an excellent opportunity to celebrate what makes the Fox Cities so special” explained Jennifer Stephany, Executive Director of Appleton Downtown Inc.  “Plus we know the public is anxious to see the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center!” 

A prize basket containing a DVD of the show, 4 box seats to a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game, Downtown Appleton gift certificates and a variety of additional products and gift certificates from featured businesses will be raffled off at the end of the program.

“Around the Corner with John McGivern” first aired in 2011 with the goal of inspiring pride and interest in Wisconsin’s communities. When they began filming, they realized every community is already full of pride, commitment, IMG_1085
and passion.  So for the last seven years, Milwaukee Public Television has changed their goal to celebrate the themes of working, living and playing in each of the thirteen communities they visit each season. 

The Around the Corner crew was on site to film Appleton June 5-8, 2017 and since then has been editing and adding post-audio production.  The Appleton episode, the second show of the 2018 season, will air on January 18, 2018, on Milwaukee Public Television and Wisconsin Public Television.  All shows are available online as well at

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The episode begins with historian John Gurda, creator of “The Making of Milwaukee,” giving historical background, including a short tour of Lawrence University.   Then John McGivern focuses on working in Appleton, with interviews and demos at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, Urban Evolutions, Rogeri Violin, and Henry’s Buff & Shine.  McGivern even poured a few candles at Eco Candle Company and tried a little historical fencing.                                                               

In McGivern’s quest to showcase the spirit of the community, he visited John & Jodi Bunks in their home overlooking the Fox River, shot the Bratzooka at a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game, toured one of the Fox Locks, and learned about Harry Houdini’s magic tricks at the History Museum at the Castle

John’s brother, Mike McGivern, shares a look at Xavier High School to show the school spirit in the area and strength of our sporting passions.  John also dined at both Vince Lombardi’s Steak House, a multi-year winner of the Visiting Team NFL Award, and Cozzy Corner, where owner Natasha Banks prides herself on providing a taste of the deep south with her own twist.

Of course, a visit to Appleton wouldn’t be complete without a stop The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, host of 32 Wisconsin premieres to date and Hearthstone Historic House Museum, the world’s first house lit with hydro-electricity using a Thomas Edison system.

As show traditionally asks the Mayor of the community to sum up the episode. Mayor Tim Hanna was happy to explain why Appleton is the greatest place on earth to live, work, and play.  “What Makes Appleton unique is the 20170515_164518people that call it home,” said Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna. “We’ve been featured many times in national rankings for various things in the past few years and it’s really the people that make Appleton special and put us on those lists and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase that in this episode.”

Additional community partners include: The City of Appleton and Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For more information on the Preview Party and Premiere, as well as upcoming seasonal events, contact Anne Wiegman of Appleton Downtown, Inc., by calling (920) 954-9112, or email

ADI is a non-profit advocacy source for the businesses and merchants of Downtown Appleton, presenting the weekly Appleton Indoor Farm Market and a host of other events. For more information about ADI and/or a complete listing of upcoming Downtown happenings, visit ADI’s website,, or check them out on Facebook at the Appleton Downtown and Downtown Appleton Farm Market Fan Pages, or on Twitter @dwtnappleton.

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