Lois Maurer says she and host John McGivern started a show on Milwaukee Public Television with the intention of inspiring people to be proud of the communities in which they live.
Instead, she said, “Around the Corner with John McGivern” — a show that features a different Wisconsin community each week — has taken on an entirely different role.
“We have to inspire nothing,” said Maurer, the show’s producer. “All that pride exists in every one of the communities we go to. We just come to celebrate it.”
Maurer said she was reminded of that thought recently when her film crew descended upon one of the communities that will be featured in the show’s upcoming fifth season: Baraboo.
The crew traveled to Baraboo this July to capture the Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration, and returned to the area the week of Aug. 30 to tour a number of Baraboo businesses and destinations. It also captured a number of local characters on film, including Log Cabin Family Restaurant manager and pie maker Gordy Ringelstetter.
“He should have his own show,” Maurer said. “There are a lot of people in Baraboo that should have their own show.”
Show airs March 31
“Around the Corner’s” new season starts in January, and is also carried on Wisconsin Public Television. The Baraboo episode will debut March 31, and a special free screening will be shown at the Al. Ringling Theatre several days prior.
Maurer said she toured the International Crane Foundation last year while filming a segment on Wisconsin Dells. She later toured downtown Baraboo during a wedding last fall, and decided the community should be the focus of one of the upcoming season’s episodes.
The show will feature well known Baraboo gems, such as Circus World Museum, the Al. Ringling Theatre and the Ho-Chunk Casino. But it also will feature hidden treasures that out-of-towners may not know about, such the Village Booksmith book store and the Flyways Waterfowl Museum.
“They were very impressed with our gift shop, as most people are,” said Flyways Waterfowl Museum Director Nichol Swenson.
She said she hopes the show will help draw more visitors to the museum, which hosts a duck-calling contest each June and has attracted people from 36 states.
Maurer said the show features an “Oh my gosh, I had no idea” moment in each episode, in which the host reveals something that is likely to shock even the locals within the featured community. She said for Baraboo, it will be Sysco.
While many people may know of the major food supplier and have seen the outside of its Baraboo facility, Maurer said she is sure many people will be surprised about what goes on inside.
“When you go in there and see what we shot, and what they showed us in their culinary resource center, you will say ‘Oh my gosh, I had no idea,’” Maurer said.
Baraboo Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Bauer said she met with representatives of the show in June and took them on a preliminary tour of the area. And she helped set up interviews and tours of Baraboo hot spots.
Bauer said she hopes the show – which also airs in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota – will draw more attention to the Baraboo area and attract people to come, play, and possibly stay.
“I think it will demonstrate that there are just so many interesting aspects to Baraboo that people don’t know about,” she said.